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Kintail Burn, Dusky Track,Fiordland, NZ 2012 Six Moon Designs ‘Swift’ pack @ 450 grams


WARNING to ‘snowflakes’. This is a Conservative Blog. It will cause upset and offence to ‘sensitive souls’. Reading it may cause dangerous thoughts and emotions to arise in you. Read on…


07/08/2017: Ultralight Shoes: I have been trying out a pair of Topo brand trail shoes. The ones I wanted were the Terraventure but the shop did not have them in my size so I bought a pair of Athletic Mountain MT2s for A$130. The Terraventures would have been 290 grams. These guys are 230 grams which sounds like an insane weight for something you are going to venture into the backcountry in, I know.

I have been going around the lambs in them of a morning. We have a really steep hill behind the house (over 30 degrees - too steep for any vehicle or tractor). At  this time of the year the frost, wet grass and clay soils are very slippery, so I often slide or fall over. I have to say that these shoes are hanging on to the surface better than anything else I have ever worn. Some days I do ten kilometres on this hillside!

They are also very comfortable. I have been wearing them all week on our evening walks. They handle rough gravel tracks fine. I think they exercise the foot a bit more than heavier shoes. You feel as if your foot is flexing and gripping in them more. They are also a lot easier to walk in though, being so light. It feels like being barefoot, only with more grip actually. This may contribute to my feeling of confidence in my grip and balance when wearing them.

Apparently the main difference between them and the Terraventures is that the sole has about 2mm more tread and a little more cushion in the insole. That is about it. They also have a waterproof model theTtopo Hydroventure which is much the same as the ones I have except for the waterproof layer. They weigh around 275 grams. I generally don't favour waterproof shoes. You are going to get your feet wet anyway. The waterproof layer is just going to make them dry out more slowly.

I really like the laces. They are oval in shape and seem to hold a knot better than just about any laces I have ever used. You may remember I discovered some other laces when I was looking for a vendor in Australia for these shoes:

I also really like the no-sew construction and the wide foot box. I have a very wide foot - the result of never wearing shoes until I left school pretty much. I used to take an 8E through G when I could get them, so I am pretty hard to fit shoes  to. They are also very kind and soft on the toes. I notice this particularly with all the hillsiding and downhilling I am doing with the lambs.

As it turns out I was able to try them on and buy them from my favourite Melbourne 'ultralight' shop: As usual the owner, Tim Campbell gave me a very good deal on them.

I may yet buy a pair of the Terraventures. I have discovered that Will Rietveld thinks very highly of them for both on and off trail use, and he seems to be a pretty genuine guy. He has a useful review here:  He has a very interesting website there actually, so you will probably be staying quite some time.

He recently wore a pair on the trail for 48 days (which I doubt was a lot less than a couple of thousand kilometres!) I have 'borrowed his photo of what they looked like at the end of that trip. Thanks Will. He says: 'the uppers look like new and the outsoles are only lightly worn. The only evidence of use is some scuffing on the edges of the outsole.'

Most other much heavier shoes would probably be starting to come apart after such punishment. Why not try a pair next time your need a new pair of shoes. I will keep you posted on how well these 230 gram shoes last me. I am petty happy with them so far.

PS: They do come in different colours than in the photos.

07/08/2017: Australia needs its own Donald Trump:


07/08/2017: This BOM scandal won’t go away. If the temperature record is not accurate, open and above board any climate science becomes impossible:


07/08/2017: The EPA is evil. I know you won’t believe this, but this has happened to us and friends of ours, and is maybe coming for you too. Once I was dragged down to the local police station by the gendarmes to be ‘interviewed’ by these busybodying bastards (for plowing!). Read the article:


07/08/2017: You just hope that socialist fellow traveller’s here are getting the lessons from Venezuela’s ‘experiment’: ‘One week, the administration declared that eggs would now be sold for no more than 30 cents a carton. The next week, eggs had disappeared from supermarkets, and still have not come back…In the early days, the shortages seemed almost whimsical. My Venezuelan friends were used to going on Miami shopping sprees. When I made trips home, they asked me to bring back perfume, leather jackets, iPhones and condoms. I usually took two near-empty suitcases to carry back the requests, plus food and toiletries for myself. As the crisis deepened, the requests became harder to fill, and traced the outlines of darker personal dramas: Medication for heart failure. Paediatric epilepsy drugs. Pills to trigger an abortion. Gas masks. And things were still somehow getting worse. The first time I saw people line up outside the bakery near my apartment, I stopped to take photos. How crazy: A literal bread line. Then true hunger crept into where I lived. People started digging through the trash at all hours, pulling out vegetable peelings and soggy pizza crusts and eating them on the spot. That seemed like rock bottom. Until my local bakery started organising lines each morning, not to buy bread, but to eat trash.’


06/08/2017: A Conversation we don’t much see nowadays, but we should: Hector and Achilles: Two Paths to Manliness:


06/08/2017: Just some of the bad points about this century’s cars: Since push rods disappeared and electronics took over cars they have become well-nigh unfixable – certainly for the home handyman!


06/08/2017: ‘A culture, like a person, is born, lives and then it dies. Like a person, its youth is a chaotic becoming, while its maturing is what it became. Its death is romanticizing what it was and then, it is gone. That’s the American Left now. It is a thing for old people and young romantics, but the death certificate has been filled out with everything but the date. The radical culture that was born in the 60’s and flourished for two generations is about to expire.’ Sincerely hope so!

05/08/2017: A Fair Chase: I see it is two years since I first posted this. As a result of my experiences of the last two weeks ( &, I feel that it needs a revisit:

IMG_1199 comp

Moose Country, Fiordland NZ: Looking down over the Jane Burn into the Lower Seaforth Valley, the Dusky Sound in the distance. Only about ten moose have ever been taken from this area, probably none in your lifetime, but I have seen one there - perhaps the only living hunter to have done so!. It is at least three days’ hard walk and a two hour boat trip to the nearest road. This is hunting! (See:

Seems to me too many hunters long since crossed the boundary between hunting and vermin eradication/culling. In many cases the latter is what is called for (eg with foxes at lambing time) but with game animals we move to such behaviour with the risk that they will thereby lose their status as game animals, resulting in the Government legislating for their extermination. Then poisoning might prove to be more efficient than shooting. Think on that!

More importantly still, from an ethical perspective, we lose all respect for them as an animal worthy of our endeavours. The hunter’s prey should have these rights: to be able effectively to employ its senses, intelligence and ability to flee from danger. If we degrade them to the extent that they no longer have these rights then we are not hunting them; we are culling. Sometimes culling may have to be done – but there is no honour in it. It is an (unpleasant) job! Unfortunately much of what many hunters do is simply that.

Long-range shooting with a telescopic sight deprives the animal of any opportunity to see, hear, smell or flee the hunter. It is culling. It is no different from spotlighting, which has the same effect as well as paralysing the prey. Similarly employing trail cameras (a wildlife biologist’s research tool surely?) to locate, monitor and predict an animal, then to await it camouflaged or perched in a tree above it is not hunting. No deer has camouflaged natural predators which it could expect to strike it from a distance from high above. A deer is not camouflaged, yet it is a master of blending into its surrounding and using cover and topography, and moving silently. So should the hunter try to be.

The possession and display of a vast array of clearly ‘unfair’ gadgets and pieces of equipment which inform the passer-by only that you intend to control and dominate your prey, only advises those who don’t like hunting already that they should act to prevent your hunting. It would be far better for the sport if all hunters wore a tweed jacket and tie (as they used to do in the past), as this would at least indicate you were not rednecks and yobbos! At least ditch the awful camo. It sends the wrong message. A wool check shirt is far better, and more comfortable.

There are any number of technological means I can imagine of killing animals, but neither would they be hunting. Employing drones, for example. Traps and deadfalls. Poisoned baits and waterholes. Helicopter shooting. Shooting from vehicles or horseback. Why not go ‘whole hog’ as ‘hunters’ and employ helicopter gunships, machine guns, bombs and napalm? People need to wake up to themselves and what they are doing. To be able to hunt is a privilege too easily lost for us to tolerate the macho antics of such a ‘hunting brigade’ with all their showy appurtenances.

Having been evicted from a number of hunting groups for expressing the opinion that hunters need to behave more ethically here:, I may put this idea on Kickstarter: I call it the Trophy Acquisition System. It is designed for the time poor but well-heeled, overweight sportsman. The idea is that a trail cam will be connected to a small PC which has a Target Identification System. You will be able to programme it: eg Sambar Stag. When the target comes in view the camera will begin filming, then a .30 calibre rifle will cleanly shoot it through the heart. More photos of the trophy will follow of it in its chosen death pose. Then the system will communicate with the remote hunter, sending him SMS messages, co-ordinates, snapshots, etc.

The system can even be programmed to Photoshop the hunter into the scene, eg with the dead deer. If the absent hunter does not wish to retrieve the trophy, he can purchase the optional Carcass Disposal System which will tow it away into the bushes somewhere, at which point the Trophy Acquisition System will re-set itself to await the next trophy.

For the price of a stamped return-addressed envelope I will be offering a ‘hack’ for the system which allows the target ‘trophy’ to be re-set to an image of the person who purchased and deployed the system.

See also:


05/08/2017: ‘However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results’. Sir Winston Churchill

05/08/2017: Blue lives matter:


05/08/2017: This fraud just keeps getting worse. The public should not have to finance or put up with stuff like this:

04/08/2017: Wonnangatta-Moroka Trip Cut Short: Orinally posted 2/08/2011: 'Back early from three days' hunting/hiking in Wonnangatta-Moroka NP due to sore toes (Have to do more research into boots) and accidentally taking the three-quarter length Neoair mat which was a bit harsh on my bad back. However saw lots of deer, some of whom visited me during the night.' (This is all I wrote back then)

Sore feet can spoil a trip ( I had clearly not trimmed my toenails well beforehand, but unless you can get the correct size boot (for me a half size = 8 1/2) and especially if you are doing a lot of hill-siding or down-hilling this is likely to happen. Preparation is all.

I am now better able to use a 3/4 length mat, having had a back operation in 2013 though I usually use the Neoair Women's (340 grams - which did not exist then. They had also not then trimmed the extra 30 grams from their 3/4 length model back then so it weighed 260 grams instead of the current 230. You can put something under your feet to lift them a little. I would now use my Airbeam Pad (, or a Graham Medical pillow (watch for future post) with my

My camera choice has improved since then. I had only a 4 megapixel camera with 3X zoom back then - and was still not in the habit of taking many photos - having grown up with film cameras which were so expensive, and made one positively stingy. I have found some snaps I took however, and have added them to this update. My current camera has 20x zoom ( and there are even better (though not lighter) ones available. Sony now have a pocket camera which weighs 245 grams and has a 30X zoom Another great choice is the Canon SX730 with 40x zoom though it weighs 300 grams: Coupled with eg this,

These were about as good a photo as you could get with my old camera. I told you I saw 'lots of deer'!

Top: A doe and fawn crossing the river at dusk. Below a very nice stag thrashing just to the right of the centre. He is just to the left of the 'vee' of the twig from the tree on the right.

They do not compare well to the photo of the doe I took last Saturday (

Or this one:

Back then I see I was still using my ancient 7'x7' (210x210cm) 2oz/yd2 home-made polyester-nylon tarp as a shelter. I have made some improvements since then, but it did keep me warm and dry, and was the inspiration for many better models. I used to have to drop this one down when I wanted to go to sleep, and sleep diagonally - but it did use to work. In the new 1 oz/yd2 Membrane Silpoly  it would have weighed about 160 grams including tie-outs. An 8' x 8' (240x240cm) tarp would work a bit better. It would weigh about 210 grams. I am thinking of making a larger version of my poncho tarp ( in these dimensions. To be announced. It would then also be great as a hammock tarp.

Here is my old 7x7 tarp.

And here is my 8'x8' cuben tarp (weight <150 grams):

Mind you there were some good stags about:

You will note that you can walk up and shoot a quite satisfactory stag wearing a blue tee shirt!

Of course in future I will be using this: In silnylon it will be a tent which fits in a breast pocket and which weighs under 180 grams! I will be calling it The Pocket Poncho Tent. I may be selling them. I am investigating manufacturing in Asia. As they say, 'Watch this space!'

I have long since worn out my original 53 litre cuben fibre zpacks Zero/Blast pack you can see in the photo. I replaced it with a 4.8 oz/yd2 Dyneema model. The latter is still under 400 grams instead of 230 grams, but is much much more durable. I hope I do wear it out actually! I am still using the same Big Agnes Cyclone Chair ( - since 2006!) My blue $1 5 and 10 store cup has been going for over 20 years now. I am yet to find a lighter one

I only wish I was still as young now as I was in 2011 - but I am still going, which is the main thing!

04/08/2017: Isn’t it a disgrace that the Senate can block the people being ‘allowed’ to vote in a referendum? Surely the executive (ie the PM) should be able to call a referendum without recourse to the Parliament at all? After all, a democracy is supposed to be ‘government by the people’. Indeed, it seems to me that if enough citizens petition for a referendum on an issue, then one must be held. But we live instead in a fake democracy where all sorts of objectionable stuff can be foisted on us against our will. I think of decimal currency, the metric system, ‘renewables’, gay ‘marriage’, Islamic immigration, abolition of the death penalty, the current ‘apartheid’ system, affirmative action, and so on. How many of these would have been passed by a referendum? We should have more of them, rather than fewer. I would prefer the cost of referenda to the cost of the pollies anyday!


0408/2017: A synangogue banned: Soon Jews will be leaving Australia as they are France, Sweden, etc. Surely it is Moslems who should be leaving?


0408/2017: Put bluntly, failure attracts more money than success. Politically, failure becomes a reason to demand more money’, (Thomas Sowell, Hence the ‘need’ for Gonskis, the NDIS, more money for ‘renewables’, Depts of ‘indigenous’ affairs, the ‘welfare’ system & so on ad nauseum… Meanwhile (eg) in the USA teen black unemployment hits 46%! Doubt that it is so low here!

03/08/2017: Fizan Compact Trekking Poles: These are not the lightest trekking poles, but they are amongst the shortest when folded which can be important when you want to fit them inside luggage or inside your pack. At US$59.99 (July 2017) they are one of the cheapest.Add shipping to Australia quoted at US$4.60!

Founded in 1947 by Domenico Fincati, Fizan pioneered the use of aluminum in ski poles when the rest of world was still using steel or bamboo. Since then, the company has become a leader in the market, widely known in Europe for its alpine and Nordic walking poles, and among the ultralight community for its Compact series of trekking poles. Seventy years after its inception, Fizan remains family owned and operated, and all poles are still made in its factory in Veneto, Italy, using environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.


  • 7001 aluminum construction
  • Proprietary Flexy internal locking system
  • Ergonomic EVA foam grip with rounded plastic top
  • 1.35” (3.4 cm) wide nylon straps
  • Replaceable carbide tips
  • Metal-reinforced rubber tip covers
  • 3 sets of removable baskets: 35, 50, and 95 mm
  • Made in Italy


Massdrop x Fizan Compact 3

  • Sections: 3
  • Adjustable length: 22.8–52 in (58–132 cm)
  • Pole section diameters: 17, 16, and 14 mm
  • Weight per pole: 5.6 oz (158 g)

Massdrop x Fizan Compact 4

  • Sections: 4
  • Adjustable length: 19.3–49.2 in (49–125 cm)
  • Pole section diameters: 17, 16, 14, and 12 mm
  • Weight per pole: 6 oz (169 g)

Straps, Tips & Baskets

  • Weight per strap: 0.4 oz (10 g)
  • Weight per hiking tip: 0.4 oz (12 g)
  • Weight per 35mm basket: 0.07 oz (2 g)
  • Weight per 50mm basket: 0.1 oz (4 g)
  • Weight per 95mm basket: 0.5 oz (14 g)


  • Pair of poles
  • Pair of straps
  • Pair of hiking tip covers
  • 3 sets of hiking baskets

See Also:

03/08/2017: We have a right to be thugs. We will not obey the law: ACTU secretary Sally McManus ‘You can sack us. You can outlaw us. You can vilify us every single day with your friends in the media. You can set up royal commissions. You can tap our phones, you can raid our offices. You can vilify and punish our leaders. You can bring in laws to police us. You can support laws that make our work hard. You can fine us, and jail us. But you will never defeat us.’ Of course, this also goes as far as calling general strikes in wartime, such as the ‘1917 General Strike’ they are celebrating today, just a few days afrter the centenary of Paschendale where so many Australians lost their lives or were forever maimed! I just wonder what those troops were fighting for? These thugs it seems! When will this commie class-war gibberish ever end?


03/08/2017: So, Prince Phil is to retire today at 96. This has to be about twice the average working life. Presumably he did not belong to a trade union (see above). We have a customer at the Yinnar General Store, John Brown who is also an active WW2 veteran who is so full of amazing stories. Such folks are wonderful treasures. What a generation they were. They humble me completely. I was fortunate enough to have been raised by such people, and to have at least begun my education when WW1 men were still senior teachers. How times have changed!


03/08/2017: Surely time for same-pronunciation marriage:


02/08/2017: Jennifer and I caught the BOM out faking station data years ago, and they are still at it. You could falsify data to prove anything, but I’m not paying for it. Sack the bastards:


02/08/2017: It may not actually be the stupidest (though it surely goes close), but certainly underlines the reality that savings can be made. Other people’s money:


02/08/2017: The real cost of going solar: these are US calculations, but first you would have to cover an area of @ 250,000 square miles with solar panels (this is 2 ½ Victorias!) Just one day’s pumped storage dams would cover an additional 3,500 square miles. You can just imagine gaining environmentalists’ support to pave over an area such as that! (But wait, it is they who are advocating it! Problem there, folks?) Cost would be about $65 trillion for the panels, and at least another $5 trillion for one day’s storage (without any provision for two consecutive cloudy days – how likely is that?) Contrast: total value of shares on the US stock exchange @ $20 trillion, the Manhattan Project cost $26 billion in 2014 dollars, Apollo $130 billion and the entire US highway network $500 billion. (NB A trillion is 1,000 billion!) So, is ‘going solar’ anywhere near a feasible or sensible option? You would have to be utterly, blindingly, barking mad to think so! What? You still call that thought?


01/08/2017: Massdrop Shipping

Some time ago the shipping calculator disappeared from the main page of this wonderful site, so I have not been game to make a purchase because I did not know how much I would be charged for shipping. Eventually I contacted them and received this useful reply: 'At this time the site is only able to show the Shipping cost through the Payment/Shipping information page on a drop. Having said this, you do not have to agree to buy in order to see the shipping cost. Once you hit the green "Join Drop" button on a drop, you will be directed to the Payment/Shipping information page. From here, need only input your shipping information and the site will automatically update to show the shipping cost before you confirm payment or even input payment information.' I have checked and this works, as you will see from my post about the excellent Fizan Trekking Poles this morning: These poles will fit entirely inside your pack available there for river crossings, use as tent poles or for heavy carry-outs etc.

I have recommended purchases from these folks again and again. I suggest you bookmark them too. It will be a little more advantageous if you happen to live in the US, but there is often a bargain to be had if you live elsewhere in the world. In any case they will keep you up to date with what's new and available.

Some of my other Massdrop recommendations:

 01/08/2017: Over 500 sulphuric acid attacks in London last year, up 400% in five years. Some folks have disturbing ideas about ways to have fun. The things we have to look forward to – and you don’t think we have too much immigration:

01/08/2017: What is Labor's vision? Exactly: ‘To have the many bludge off the few? In which case we'll all be equally poor: Labor’s assault on higher income taxpayers would raise $10.8 billion over the next four years and $76bn over the next decade, but the policies have sparked an ­attack from business leaders over Bill Shorten’s focus on income ­redistribution at the expense of growth.The 3 per cent of taxpayers paying the top marginal tax rate already provide 30 per cent of tax revenue, a share Labor’s policies and bracket creep would push ­towards 35 per cent.’ Andrew Bolt


01/08/2017: Good God in his Great Green Heaven: these folks are evil bastards:

31/07/2017: A Hiking Food Compendium: Folks are always asking me, 'What do you eat on the trail?' I have posted about this again and again, but I just thought I would bring all my posts about this together as one compendium. When you get tired of eating all these you could just quit life or hiking I guess.

A couple of these are to enjoy at home, but most are dry ingredients which make the meal as light as possible )calories per gram is all!) and use supermarket bought rather than specialty hiking meals as they are both cheaper and tastier in my opinion.


A Hiking Food Compendium:

31/07/2017: Strange the things you forget! From July 31, 2013 Back from the dead: the massive heart attack which has kept me silent for a couple of days turned out to be a freaky infection on the outside of my heart now (hopefully) completely cured by antibiotics…still a very scary and bizarre experience especially coming as it did on the 50th anniversary of my own father’s death!


31/07/2017: Having No Brains: Most of us have been there: ‘How far left was I? So far left my beloved uncle was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in a Communist country. When I returned to his Slovak village to buy him a mass card, the priest refused to sell me one. So far left that a self-identified terrorist proposed marriage to me. So far left I was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer and I have a degree from UC Berkeley. So far left that my Teamster mother used to tell anyone who would listen that she voted for Gus Hall, Communist Party chairman, for president. I wore a button saying "Eat the Rich." To me it wasn't a metaphor. I voted Republican in the last presidential election. Below are the top ten reasons I am no longer a leftist’:


31/07/2017: ‘Behind every clean electric car there is cobalt, And behind cobalt is the Democratic Republic of Congo. And when the Congo is involved, so is terrible corruption and brutality,’ David Pilling:

30/07/2017: Avon River Walking Track: Good News: Della: 'My steady return to fitness: After 5 weeks of cardiac rehab and a couple of weeks of mainstream fitness training (on top of our usual daily walks), today I tackled my first real bushwalk in 5 months. We checked out part of the Avon River Walking Track in the balmy, albeit blustery weather. Not a long walk, only about a three hour round trip; a bit of a goat track with some gentle uphill climbs, so a mild test for the angina. Once my heart warmed up it was pretty plain sailing, I am pleased to report. The scenery was lovely and we will return to do the whole walk on another occasion. Lots more exercising in front of me before I get back to my previous fitness, but I am now convinced that it is achievable. Feeling heartened!'

The sun was just in the right place to cast lots of golden reflection off the river. I took dozens of snaps especially from high up, but you know how you are supposed to never take photos into the sun but you do anyway because sometimes they turn pout spectacularly? Well, pretty much all but this one were duds!

And this one of Della with the beautiful silver mirror of the river snaking behind her. In the distance you can see Mt Ben Cruachan.

And here am I taking the photograph above.

There are some interesting rock formations.

Beautiful beetling pink cliffs.

And then around a corner this doe came swimming and wading in the river.  

She nearly came right up to us!

But I suspect she detected this rascal!

There is oodles of camping at Huggets Crossing on the Avon. From there you can walk all the way along to Wombat Crossing which takes 5-6 hours.

Here are the times. You can camp at Dermody's or Wombat Crossing and walk back (or vice versa). There are also lots of places along the way where you can camp. You have to be careful of the Avon river bottoms. The Avon is one of the worst rivers in Australia for flash floods, so watch the forecasts. It can be pelting down further up above Golden Point etc in the Avon Wilderness.

The trip was spoiled somewhat by encountering not one but two teams of knuckleheaded hound hunters (the reason the deer was walkingand swimming up the middle of the stream after all)! It is illegal to hunt in the vicinity of roads and walking tracks, because of the danger to the public, to use illegal radio channels and radio tracking during the hunt yet these idiots were (offences which would lose them their licences if apprehended - Huggets is regularly patrolled). Then, they proceeded to camp at Huggets just to disgust other campers with their vast numbers of dogs some of them illegal, public display of deer carcasses and so on.

Anyone could see that each team was operating many more than the allowable legal numbers of hounds, and that the bloodhound crosses were just that, not pure bloodhounds! At the end of the hunt they were still waiting for more hounds than they are legally allowed to let out in the first place - why the deer we saw looked so harried, and had been savaged on the right flank some time during the day, as you can see from its photo. People witnessing such crimes needs to file a report (with photos) to the Game Management Unit, DEPI, Victoria. We need to get these fools out of the bush. See also:

30/07/2017: French Philosopher Anne Dufourmantelle Dies Attempting to Save Drowning Children: Philosopher and Psychoanalyst. An advocate of taking risks in life. Good for her. She died well, valiantly, in action and not in deep thought. ‘When there really is a danger that must be faced in order to survive…there is a strong incentive for action, dedication and surpassing oneself,’ she said in a 2015 interview.


30/07/2017: So, Khalil Eideh was not allowed to enter the US. Why was he ever allowed to enter Australia – and how did he become a Victorian MP? ‘Something rotten in the State of Denmark,’ or Labor, rotten to the core:


30/07/2017: In a similar vein: Mohamed Elmouelhy is currently head of the Halal Certification Authority. Smile if you agree with him:



29/07/2017: Yes!  ‘President Trump just did – again – what literally no other leader in the world is doing right now. He took a step towards saving Western Civilization’: &


29/07/2017: Misunderstanding common English words #101: ‘should’ and ‘ought’, ‘may’ and ‘might’. These pairs are not interchangeable. If you do so you are blurring a range of nuances and possibilities. You ’should’ do something if it is ‘good’ and ‘right’ to do so – more about that pair another time! You ‘ought’ to do something because you have an ‘obligation’ – either a moral one, or a debt. Thus, if you have incurred a debt, you should and ought pay it off. It makes no sense to say, ‘We ought to do more for the poor’. We owe the poor no debt, almost certainly not even a moral one. That would imply they had already done something for us and we had put ourselves in their debt. The converse is actually true. ‘We’ have been doing something for ‘them’ (often for a long while). Many folks have lived completely on the public purse to school leaving age (or later), for example. They have incurred an enormous debt. ‘They’ owe ‘us’, and ought to be doing something about it forthwith. In the case of some duskier folk ‘they’ have been doing this for over 200 years. Nothing is owed them but they ought to be paying off their enormous debt to society – not adding to it! You ‘may’ do something because you have permission to do so. You ‘might’ do something because there is a possibility you will. I ‘might’ climb Mt Everest, but I ‘may’ not, as I have not even applied for a permit to do so. More about these matters later. Addendum: It is possible the ‘old’ have created an obligation (eg by working hard at low wages for 50 years), but at present I would have to say they (we?) lived through the best years this country has ever seen, so they should (saving misfortune) mostly have long since been able to provide for themselves.


29/07/2017: More about that debt and obligation. This has been going on for a very long time indeed:


29/07/2017: On the one hand we have State Aid to Sectarian schools funding a heap of Islamic fundamentalism whilst our government pours more and more of these undesirable folk into our community, and on the other hand the State of Qld decides to ban Jesus! Even though I am an athiest I find this disturbing. There is much to be admired in favour of Jesus and his moral philosophy – the message of love alone is valuable. Moreso Socrates’ – and Buddha’s, perhaps. There is absolutely nothing to be admired about Mohammed’s. The rape and slaughter of innocents, for example is never admirable. Nor is demeaning one’s wife:


29/07/2017: I am a senior myself, so I take this to heart a bit:


28/07/2017: My father, Lawrence Jones died horribly from brain cancer 54 years ago today when he was only 48 and I was 13. Nonetheless despite the passage of time, that event remains poignant and pivotal for me. If I seem a little more somber than usual today, I’m sure you will understand. I have no good photographs of him, indeed less than half a dozen in total. I remember this one was taken at Gresford Rd, Paterson NSW in 1960. He was holding my first hound ‘George’, named after my grandfather, George Jones. There are very few alive today who remember him, but I know he was one of the finest of men.

PS: I guess long before that day I came to understand all should, and since that day (I) needs must shift for myself, stand on my own two feet, blame no-one or nothing, but make of the world what I might. So, for example I completed High School at 15 with the aid of scholarships which I earned from just that, then I completed a number of full-time degrees at university whilst also working full-time, the first four years seven day roster shift work in a heavy metal refinery. I have worked from that day to this probably hardly ever earning today's 'minimum wage', but we have been able to provide for ourselves and our family and set aside savings which we can continue to live on. I am wholly against the 'entitlement' society. I also think it is tantamount to a crime against humanity that so many today are growing up without a father - or with the State as their family. At least I had one, if only for a short, precious time.

People have been posting here recently about what is the most important thing in life. Wealth, success, love...Character is all!


Thanks Della: While I never had the privilege of knowing your father, he is legendary amongst your extended family. He was undoubtedly a man of both fine and entertaining character who lives on vividly in the memories of all who knew and loved him. This, I know, is small comfort to a son who sorely missed the company, guidance, support and praise of the man he loved unreservedly. How tragic it must have been for you to lose him, and for him to know that he was being torn from his young family so early in their lives. Such pain does not fade, but, like the sand in an oyster shell, is coated with the pearly lustre of your memories and your fine character to become the jewel that is a perpetual tribute to a treasured life.

28/07/2017: Yarra Ranges 1866: A friend recently sent me a copy of this splendid 1866 map of the County of Buln Buln, to the East of Melbourne. What a historic treasure it is! you can clearly see the route of what would later be 'The Upper Yarra Track' on it. This is what makes this fabulous walking track 'Australia's oldest' - 'and best' as I say on the website:

If you haven't yet walked this wonderful track, think about doing so soon. Being winter at present you will want to follow the 'Winter Route' I have outlined in the track Instructions:

as the route across the Baw Baw Plateau will be too dangerous because of snow and cold - though very experienced people with snowshoes and skis have done it.

PS: Thanks to Thomas Osburg for the map. It is available here: I had to copy it with Paint. From the website, or with Paint you can zoom in and see the detail. Perhaps there is a another way of getting better copy.

28/07/2017: The Battle for the Internet. This is a very ‘dry’ issue, and hard to get your head around, but it is one of the great battles of our time. If it is lost, we may never even ‘know’ about it! 1984 indeed! As in so many similar cases, groups’ names often mean exactly the opposite of what you would expect, so for example (in the US) ‘Liberal’ means ‘authoritarian’; ‘health’ mean you are anti-vaccination; free press’ means you are in favour of total state control (by Marxists) of the media, and so on. Now read on:


28/07/2017: Speak louder and clearer, God: It may surprise those who understand the depth of my atheistic ‘faith’ to learn that God infrequently 'talks' to me. I am not honoured with miniatures of Jesus in my nasal mucosa or portraits of Mother Theresa in my burnt toast, alas, but twice in widely separated incidents when I have hit my fingernail with a hammer, the resulting blackening has formed itself into letters, not just any letters but capital letters - hence, inevitably Godspeak! I think one of the letters was a 'B' and one and 'H'. I would have preferred that they were 'B' and 'S' as it would have been nice if this compulsive destroyer of millions of small children in earthquakes, plagues and tsunamis was indicating to me his non-existence. I will stick with the former anyway, which I took to indicate two things: First that it was the Jewish God speaking as there were no vowels. This is nice for the Old Testament folk. Second, that I needed to believe harder. And hit my fingers with a hammer much more often. Ouch! I would have to really practice this a lot before I was convinced I think, especially in the face of those millions of Godmade tiny corpses, but who knows?


28/07/2017: An optimist believes we live in ‘the best of all possible worlds’. A pessimist fears this is true!

28/07/2017: Ultimate camo: Just washed my camo hunting gear... now waiting for it to dry.

Image may contain: people sitting

27/07/2017: Turnbull is stupid (and must go). On Sunday he rang Shorten to discuss the issue of fixed four year terms - something which could only be decided by an unwinnable referendum anyway!

27/07/2017: Judith Sloan, ‘Successive Australian governments have been keen to boost population growth through excessive immigration intakes and have been able to disguise two recessions by not measuring changes in GDP per capita.’ You need to read this article: Frankly this is what immigration has been doing to us all the way back to the fifties: Forcing us to share our wealth amongst more and more people – too many of whom have no sense of loyalty to our country. We need to put a stop to large scale immigration – as well as choosing what immigrants we do take much, much more carefully:


27/07/2017: If you decry all religions, you can hardly be disparaged as ‘islamophobic’ for criticizing Islam, arguably the worst of them:


27/07/2017: On a similar note, Justine Damond: A Casualty of Islamophobia

26/07/2017: The Silence of the Deer: Sambar deer do not have a voice. When they are wantonly murdered en masse with no regard to ethics or the law, the survivors cannot speak out. We have to be their voice.

Understand this, I am not some namby-pamby greenie do-gooder. I have hunted deer in the Gippsland mountains for nigh on forty years, and many other creatures before that for another twenty plus years besides. I suppose the last twenty years whilst others took another path I have become naïve.

Because I have been busy farming and when I get away choose to hunt and travel the bush by myself, and during the week, and go almost always to places which have no vehicle access - because I deeply love the wildest places - I had not experienced the rogue element that has taken over too much of the hunting community.

These people have developed and practised techniques and methods which will see hunting banned outright if they are not stopped in their tracks post haste. We will all be the losers for that. We cannot choose to ignore them because we don’t want to get involved, or because we fear what they will do to us in revenge for urging that what they do should be outlawed and punished. I have no doubt what such vile people would do to me if they caught me (or my vehicle) alone in the bush after they realise I have spoken out against them and am their enemy. But, 'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing' as Edmund Bourke said. I refuse to be cowed.

Hunters should understand that the great bulk of people do not share their desire to practise this sport. Indeed many find it at best distasteful, if not mean, evil and disgusting. They are the majority. We cannot afford to have them proven right by such louts and villains as are roaming the bush unchecked at present.

I rarely ever go up the bush on a weekend but I did again on Saturday as I wanted to have a look around before the sheep lambed. They have now started, so that will be that for me for a while. Plenty of jobs around the farm to do anyway, particularly tree planting. I returned to a location quite near this place: and wandered a little further along the river than I had ever been before.

As we set out Spot and I watched this swamp wallaby trying to get across this fording point for a while. He had three sterling goes at it but the snow and rain the night before had put the river up about 4" (100mm) and he kept on getting swept away. Eventually he decided that the grass was just as green on his side of the river and gave up.

Spot surveyed the crossing with some trepidation after that, but nonetheless we managed to get across without mishap, him riding as always on my back.

There had been a cold wind off the snow earlier, but as it warmed up the wind dropped and it turned into quite a nice day. The kookaburras were in full cry alerting all and sundry that we were afoot in their territory. Likewise there were a lot of currawongs about with their joyful cries. The wood swallows and bee eaters have recovered somewhat from the awful fires of a few years back, and are everywhere, cutting delightful arcs across the sky. A lone azure kingfisher drew lines on the pallid waters of the river. 'Wally' wombat has also bred up again and is out and about, even in broad daylight. I do so love the sights and sounds of the bush.

We came to a huge patch of solanums of some sort (a relative of tomatoes and potatoes). Frequently the leaves of such plants are poisonous to stock or at least bitter, so nothing much was eating them. Dogs just love to practise their balancing. There was an excellent dry wallow right in the midst of this patch - a fine and private place. It contained no cast antlers - as they often do. It was also a haven for wombats.

Something had been eating the fruit however. Frequently members of this family have palatable fruit, but I did not know about this particular one, so did not try it.

You can easily see what is beautiful but inedible, can't you?

Lunch and time for a cuddle. You can see that what is edible has been well munched down.

A poor attempt at a selfie, Spot getting in on the act! This is the clothing I think hunters should be wearing. An Icebreaker wool cap. This is a Tomar merino wool shirt from Kathmandu, currently on sale for A$89.98: It is excellent.

What a beautiful valley it is.

Right on top of that stone ridge (above left) I came across this chair, which Spot just had to sit in. I guess it had been a good place to wait for a deer crossing down to the river in the fading afternoon light some time back, or maybe someone just wanted to sit and watch the golden river gliding slowly by. A quite reasonable pastime.

Then, unexpectedly, on the next flat downstream I came upon this horror. A true shambles. A charnel house of deer which had clearly taken place within the last week. I hesitate to say how many there were just like this - more than twenty though! Look at this beautiful little doe, last year's drop, savaged by dogs, shot and left to rot. Why would you do this?

And here is another just twenty yards away with her throat torn out. Again you can see where the dogs have savaged her flanks. This wasn't the work of any beagle I have ever seen or owned. Any normal scent trailing hound for that matter. What sort of evil mongrels such folks are using is beyond me. As is 'Why?'

A few yards further on this fine young stag, again savaged by the dogs, antlers hewn off at least. Still, a total waste by my reckoning. 

Another few steps and there was another, and another and another. Not an ounce of venison had been taken. 

And there were wallabies just like the one we watched earlier also torn to pieces by the dogs.


Such barbaric behaviour is not hunting. It is just wanton rapaciousness. What other base things are such sub-human creatures as perpetrated this outrage capable of? In order to simultaneously kill a half dozen large deer in a circle probably fifty yards in radius, how many dogs had been let out on this hunt? Certainly not the five beagles allowed by law!

These guys are doing everything they can wrong. Everything they can to ensure our sport is banned. You could not blame members of the public who stumbled upon such horror (canoeists for example - this is a lovely river to canoe), or heaven help them if they had become mixed up in it, if they then demanded that hound hunting, yea deer hunting entirely be banned forthwith. And they would be right!

If we cannot stamp out this sort of behavior, we deserve to lose our sport. There are people who are reading this who know who the people are who do such things. Some of you witnessed it, or were in the bush thereabouts on the day it happened which I was not (else the police would have all their number plates I can assure you!) and have a pretty good idea who was involved.

Week after week such vile idiots as this come home with a swag of antlers and an awesome tally of dead deer to boast about, having spent the weekend practising the vilest animal cruelty. Young yahoos edging each other on to acts of greater barbarism. People who would do this are capable of anything - or nothing! One thing I have heard about is folk who cruelly wound a deer, eg gut shooting it and breaking its legs so that they can drive the poor agonised creature back to their car rather than carrying the meat out! I have heard a vile thug boasting at his skill at this unbelievable abhorrent practice. God alone knows what further despicable acts of animal cruelty they are capable of.

And, they are slaughtering deer with vast packs of slavering dogs in our National Parks too. They have absolutely no respect for law or morality. They have no human values. Tiny and I were hunted by a pack of just such feral dogs which had been left behind by such a crew as this a few years ago. I could not believe they were baying on our trail. Dingoes certainly never bark on trail, or hunt in packs. I have now put two and two together after seeing this slaughterhouse. A client of mine, near Omeo years ago lost 800 sheep in a single night to such packs of wild dogs. A pack of feral dogs left behind by such hunters will tear some hiker or camper to pieces one day. If they can rip the throat out of a full-grown deer what chance do you think an unarmed person would have? I certainly never camp in the forest since that experience without a weapon handy.

(PS: Tiny is my older Jack Russell - she is still going at 17 1/2, but she is too deaf and poorly sighted to be taken into the wilderness now. I would lose her, but she would still dearly love to come. She gets a five km walk in the forest behind us every afternoon though, and gets to smell lots of interesting things there, and can come home afterwards and sleep in her basket next to a warm fire. It is not a bad evening to her long life during which she spent a great deal of time in the bush ‘hunting’ and never laid a tooth on anything).

Here she is in retirement in front of her fire:

I will outline what has apparently become the normal modus operandi of too many hound hunters today. I have no idea what percentage but it may well be the majority. Most if not all practise some of the illegal or unethical things I will go on to explain. I was myself a hound hunter for over thirty years. My father, his father and his father too all hunted with hounds in the Australian bush. 175 years of hound hunting. But we never did anything like this. First of all we had a small number of hounds, often only one or two - what need large numbers anyway? One good dog with a superb nose and a good voice is enough actually - ah, but getting such a dog is hard! . For many years I had Harpoon, Belle, Poono, Mike and Marsh. They were foxhound-bloodhound crosses. What a dog Harpoon was. Better than most packs of dogs. Many people will have encountered them or me in the bush in years past. A young reader recently wrote to me that he could still just about hear my call on the wind, 'Harpoon, Come!' They are just a part of the earth of my orchard and of my memories today, after the dreadful foxhound ban - which alas, did no good!

I spent more time hunting for the hounds than I did hunting for deer. My friend the late Arthur Meyers used to call us 'the last of the hound hunters', and maybe that was about right. We hunted always on foot, without the benefit of a vehicle (as the law mandates). For much of that time we never owned a 4WD. We had feet. Two of them each usually, though a mate of mine, Jock had only one and used to get about in the bush pretty well besides. Still does actually.

Aside: We were going to walk into the Wonnangatta together this winter for a week or ten days, two silly septuagenarians, a spot of fishing and hunting and yarning by the fire, but he eventually could not make it, and I have not yet either. Still, eventually the sheep will finish lambing and I can get away again, so maybe yet...I do so adore the Wonnangatta valley in winter. On the horizon you are ringed with majestic snow-capped peaks. The frost crunches under foot in the morning as you go to do the dishes, the river fringed with ice crystals. Still the trout come to the lure and taste specially sweet straight from the coals. I see many deer coming down to drink of an evening and admire them quietly. They have little to fear from me in such a place. The air is clear and cold. Birdsong hangs bright and far on such frigid air. A Tyvek shelter and a cheery fire at day's end bring such a wondrous sense of peace and serenity.

We talked on the radio only at the end of the hunt or to locate each other as the law also mandates. The dogs never attacked wildlife. We carried out every morsel of the deer we harvested (not many). Some of these louts today are individually killing as many deer in a day as our team of 3-5 took in a whole year. These young blokes are the worst sort of tally hunters. They expect to shoot twenty or thirty deer apiece each year. Some would like to do so each week. What is the point? We never left a dog in the bush - if we had, it would have starved to death. We treated the deer and other bush users with respect.

So what is different about the 'modern' hound hunter? First the huge number of dogs. Each member of the 'team' might have the legal five dogs and three pups in training in the dog box on the back of their ubiquitous 4WD utes . A typical 'team' is well in excess of the mandated maximum of ten. So there are likely to be as many as 100 dogs present on a given day! Each has a vehicle and the vehicle is used extensively in the hunt to get in front of the deer, being moved again and again during the hunt. Often there are multiple hunts going on actually, because of the vast numbers of dogs. They hunt on roads, not in the bush. Each member has a radio operating on an illegal channel affixed to their breast. This alone invites a fine of $20,000 - but these clowns think they are invulnerable. Right next to it is a GPS tracker which they use constantly to follow the hunt and get a wickedly unfair advantage over the deer. Many of their dogs do not voice.

I have witnessed packs of 30-40 hounds just let out higgly-piggly in a valley (not after walking them in on a leash as we used to do on fresh sign until they began to bay, not releasing them until they did) and these whole vast packs were making far less noise than my old foxhound, Harpoon would have been making all by himself. This is because largely such folks are not using scent trailing hounds, though they might mostly have a superficial resemblance to them. It matters not to them whether their dogs have a 'good voice' because they are simply tracking the hunt in real time with their GPS units. When such electronic devices (including CB radios) became legal it was understood that they would not be used in the actual hunt. Nor is it ethical to do so. Having a team of up to 10 hunters with guns and five dogs is advantage enough! But of course they almost never restrict themselves like that. With such a vast amount of pressure on them, the deer are soon forced to 'bail' and if a hunter does not arrive swiftly to dispatch them, the dogs will harry them until they fall, or pull them down and kill them.

In over thirty years of hound hunting I walked in on hundreds of bail-ups. Mostly I arrived too late, if at all. The dogs had become bored that the deer was no longer moving, and had wandered away. Sometimes (not often) if I was lucky I arrived when the dogs were still 'holding' the deer. Sometimes I shot it, and sometimes I did not. Does with young were usually spared, for example. I never witnessed a dog harrying a deer. My scent trailing hounds would just stand around howling at it from a safe distance. I never had a dog injured by a deer as they never came close enough. I never found hair floating on the river water which would have indicated harrying activity. Owning such dogs as attack wildlife was illegal and unethical and properly remains so. If you had owned a dog which showed any sign of such aggression you would have put it down straightaway no matter how attached you were to it. You should always be able to shoot your own dog. Straight away. You just cannot trust a dog which attacks things. We all have loved ones. Imagine what might happen if a pack of such dogs came across a couple of women and children innocently playing (perhaps near their canoes) in the forest! It really is only a matter of time before such large, dangerous, poorly controlled packs kill domestic stock, companion animals or human beings.

There are other elements of the deer hunting scene I also disagree with, and have mentioned before. For example I abhor the practice of glassing the opposite slope and shooting deer long range with telescopic sights. Such conduct is appropriate only for cullers, not hunters. The quarry should have something like 'fair chase'. It should at least be able to use its senses to escape the hunter. I would prefer to see every hunter required to use only iron sights. They would have to have a lot more skill for one thing, and learn to get much closer to their quarry as bow hunters do. Again, I would rather that only cullers and perhaps bow hunters were allowed to use camo. This would give the deer a better chance and make it safer for everyone. I am not in favour of being an ambush predator, especially if the ambush has been informed by trail cameras which are properly a scientific tool. Deer are creatures of habit, and such means are really quite unfair. I think hunters should just have to 'walk them up.  This is really the only fair way of taking them ie bush stalking.

Deer are sentient creatures. It is our privilege to be able to humanely harvest them to prevent their breeding out of control and becoming a menace. They deserve our respect and understanding. I think the worst aspect (for me) about the nightmare display I witnessed on Saturday was that when I first spied the first little doe, her mother and younger sister were standing over her, their noses still touching her. I thought at first she was asleep. I was initially quite enchanted, and far too slow to get my camera out. I guess they saw Spot move and they left (as you can imagine) in an almighty hurry. They were grieving - as well they might be. I am grieving too. I really do not know whether I will ever shoot another deer after seeing this.

It will not keep me out of the bush that I love though, but I will be heading for more remote areas - and I guess I will need my gun to defend myself against those awful feral dogs these 'hound hunters' have left behind and allowed to breed up. Thankfully the Government conducts annual baiting (including aerial baiting) in many areas to try and reduce their numbers. This is very annoying when you want to take your Jack Russell for a walk in the bush. You need to check very carefully beforehand that there are no viable baits in the area you are heading for. Fortunately Spot is such a fussy eater he will touch practically nothing, but I would sorely hate to lose him and his companionship in the wilderness:

Yes! Of course I reported this matter to the Game Management Unit DPI Traralgon as I would encourage all to do who know of similar awful deeds by evil clowns who claim to be hunters. We need to get these vile cretins out of the bush before their actions drive us all from our chosen recreation. Unsurprisingly the officer I spoke to had numerous similar dreadful incidents on his desk. I think the most chilling thing he said to me was, 'You would not believe the cruelty'...Game Management may be understaffed and work slowly, but they are coming for you. And good riddance!

Post Script: I remember folks used to claim they could 'sex' a deer by its footprints. Here are two sets of deer feet. One is a stag, the other a doe. They look just the same to me. I agree that older, heavier animals may have worn their toes down at the front, but those rounded toes definitely do not indicate a stag - whereas a rub line certainly does!

26/07/2017: Miniature Weapons – The Toothpick Crossbow: Miniature weapons are great fun for young and old. You might start your collection with this delightful ‘toothpick crossbow’ which is bound to annoy your friends and fellow workers: Also avaailable Massdrop now (July 2017

You might also like this: Micro BB Crossbow:

Or this: Marshmallow Crossbow:

Or this: Micro Blaster Q-Tip X-Bow:

Then of course there are the many rubber band guns such as this:

Colt Derringer Pistol


26/07/2017: It seems clear that Gillard lied to the Royal Commission and provided it with a forged document. Whether she will ever be charged (given complicit Labor Govts in Vic and WA) is unclear:


26/07/2017: The Public Good: We have a similar problem with public land management In Australia. Stock are frequently killed by wild dogs, eagles, foxes, etc which are rife on public land. At the same time farmers cannot claim half the cost of fencing them out from the public land manager (as with other neighbours) nor clear more than four metres in toto for a fence (making the fence impossible to maintain). This is not even enough to get a 4WD or a slasher along each side of the fence, let alone protect it from wildfire. Nor can you claim damages from the state for stock killed by the state’s predatory native or feral animals. Perhaps we should reintroduce Devils or Thylacines:

25/07/2017: EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker: This great little device is available here from US$29.99 (July 2017)

You can use this device to ascertain your correct eyeglass prescription. Repeated self-tests will make you more and more accurate. Users report it gives as good or better result than their optometrist. It is very handy for on-line ordering eg from where you can buy a pair of flexible titanium progressive glasses for $US50 or less.

I have been buying my glasses from Zenni for years. The only time I have had a bad result is when the prescription was wrong. This device should allow me to check my optometrist’s prescription before I order. I will still be having a regular eye check up to make sure I am not developing any other eye problems – such as glaucoma, which blinds you before you are aware of it unless you have a regular visual field test and use it to keep track of your visual field index. Be warned. My wife lost more than half her eyesight before her glaucoma was diagnosed.


I have ordered one of these devices and will download the App to go with it.

PS: You can do the same thing with your hearing aids to save even more money.

See Also:

Here is a good way to prevent you losing your hearing aids in the bush. It has saved me thousands:


25/07/2017: There is absolutely no point in pouring water down the Murray to keep the Coorong fresh water - something which only occurred since they built the barrier and (incidentally) destroyed the mulloway fishery there. Such 'environmental flows' are just greenie nonsense. More water flows down the Murray nowadays than ever did so in the C19th or otherwise because of dams, weirs etc controlling the flow - and because of improved farming practices and water usage. Much better to grow cotton to clothe people and food to sustain them.


25/07/2017: The RET is the fundamental reason that power prices across the nation have more than doubled to now be among the highest in the world in a country awash with the coal that used to give us the cheapest and most reliable power in the world.’ Terry McCrann. Of course it should be abolished, Hazelwood re-opened and refurbished with C21st ‘clean coal’ technology before it is too late and the current parlous state of affairs becomes permanent.

24/07/2017: Pocket Slingshot: The Pocket Shot might be a good choice if you want to add a bunny, pigeon or duck to your hiking menu and you have found perfecting your skill with a conventional sling too hard (See:

'With up to 350 feet per second, equals 350 km/h, double to triple the airspeed of conventional slingshots

With 12 Joule by using the original Pocket-Shot Ammo of hardened carbon steel six times the penetration power than with a conventional slingshot. Also much stronger than almost all Airsoft, Paintball or Air-Rifles

High Precision and high rate of fire. Allows quick aiming and shooting

Minimum weight of just 55 grams and extremely compact at 6cm  x 2 cm'

I might not be 'legal' in your particular locale, so you should check I guess.

It can also fire arrows and/or be used to take fish. I would say it might also be useful for driving away dingoes which might be following you and thinking about you as a snack.

From around $A40 (July 2017)

24/07/2017: The enormous difference between private enterprise and public enterprise:


24/07/2017: We learned algebra in primary school. Now they are finding it is too hard for college students:


24/07/2017: The ancient Roman democracy had a government term of one year before the public had another say, which is more than long enough. Extended terms of office are the antithesis of democracy. If politicians fear the people it is because they deserve to:


23/07/2017: Don't understand economics? Read this. I specially liked: ‘for someone to grow wealthy in a free market economy, they must be providing something that others value more...’


23/07/2017: What’s the opposite of diversity? University.

23/07/2017: ‘Delete Liberal voters from Australia’s tax base and suddenly we’re looking at annual revenue of $4.78’: Tim Blair

22/07/2017: I know there have been many changes for the better but there have also been too many changes for the worse:


21/07/2017: Apollo 11! Still thrills me 48 years later. These were the rocket engines which took those three brave men to the moon back when Detroit (and America) was still great! ( Watching the launch is still exciting:


20/07/2017: Humans Arrived Earlier – this is not actually news. We already knew from pollen deposits in lake sediments etc that human burning started much earlier than we (still) have artifacts for. What would be news (if only such research was not forbidden here) is how the people’s DNA (whose skeletons were found) fit with human DNA generally. For example, were such folk more closely related to modern humans from say Stockholm than Uluru for example? When did they receive Neanderthal DNA (and Denisoven) and the other two-three extinct human types we know from other DNA we interbred with long ago, or did they? Do they represent a completely ‘new’ human line themselves? These people’s remains are not the exclusive property of anyone who happens to inhabit the site today. If I found ancient artifacts or remains on my freehold land they would not automatically belong to me (though I might gain some financial advantage along the line depending on what they were - treasure trove, for example). Remains of a similar age from eg Europe do not ‘belong’ to the current land owners. They are properly the common scientific property of humankind - as these should be. The European remains share very little or any DNA with the current occupiers of the land on which they were found, as you would expect. People move on or are extinguished. It is very likely that the same is true of these remains. It was long since established that pre-European settlement came in at least three waves (these might even represent a fourth, or a fifth…) and that successive waves pretty much obliterated the prior one. The pygmies of Cape York pygmies whom I have mentioned before may have been an exception – but they vanished in my own lifetime! These remains should not be returned to the current ‘owners’ of the land but deserve to be studied for what they can teach us about the human story. See also:


20/07/2017: About That Iceberg:


20/07/2017: Dunkirk: A Great Movie, but not PC enough. Oh Dear:


19/07/2017: You heard it here first:


19/07/2017: Poor Fellow My Country. The ‘elites’ continue our course to ‘mutually assured destruction’:


19/07/2017: What a plane:


18/07/2017: Delightful, Murphy’s Cat:

18/07/2017: A Declaration by Robert Fulghum @ 80

1. I declare that I shall release the vice-grip of urgency and let go of Must Do, Must Get, Must Have, and Must Be. Compulsion doesn’t increase the quality of life.

2. I declare that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence – it’s greenest where it’s watered – so when climbing daily fences, I will carry water. Or save the next fence for another day and just lie down on the grass I’ve got.

3. I declare that speed does not improve the quality of life, and the Way On is not the Interstate Highway but the inner-state of being present one day at a time.

4. I declare that it is true that life turns out best for the one who makes the best of the way life turns out. The key is improvisation in the face of the unexpected, which is always to be expected. A better name for that is surprise.

5. I declare that not knowing is the doorway into surprise and amazement. Ignorance is not a failing, it’s a ticket to ride.

6. I declare the truth that if there’s no rain, there’s no rainbows – that the lotus blossom only grows out of the mud – and that if there’s no shit, there’s no shinola.

7. I declare that what I have and what I am is what I would have wanted if I had thought this was possible long ago when I didn’t know what I wanted or who I was. Now I know what has become of me. I can laugh and keep going.

8. I declare a moratorium on worrying about how things will finally turn out – soon enough I will be what I once was – no one and nowhere – and I have been there before. No problem.

9. I declare the truth of the contradiction that I am forever alone and also forever as much a part of the universe as the most distant star. And I am not alone alone.

10. I declare that I finally accept the reality that the universe is working itself out as it should, and even if I never can comprehend that, it’s ok.

18/07/2017: G20 Success Story: ‘China, the world’s largest CO2 emitter, is planning to double its yearly emissions, by an extra 10.9 billion tons. India, the third largest emitter, will treble its emissions, adding 4.9 billion tons, All the other major “developing” nations, plus Japan and Russia, are equally planning to build more coal-fired power stations.So 13 of the countries which signed that G20 communiqué last week, intend to contribute to what the INDCs show will within 13 years be a 46 percent rise in global emissions. The only G20 countries left committed to CO2 reductions (by 1.7 billion tons) are now those in the EU, plus Canada and Australia, between them responsible for just 11.3 percent of global emissions. Most of the remaining 88.7 percent is emitted by countries which plan to increase them. Is it surprising that President Trump wanted no part in such a grotesque display of international hypocrisy?’ Yet we close Hazelwood, treble our electricity prices, close lots of businesses and suffer through shortages:

17/07/2017: A Hands Free Umbrella: What a good idea that would be, especially if you need to use both hands for trekking poles on rough or steep terrain. When the weather is really humid, you really need a roof to keep you dry (and warm). A raincoat in such circumstances will just see you soaked and frozen.


See: &


In such circumstances my ultralight poncho tent may save your life: &


There are several possibilities. For example Antigravity Gear has a model featuring clips which attach your trekking umbrella to your back pack.


There are several other possibilities, such as:

A search for ‘hands free umbrellas’ will provide you with lots of fun and amusement!


One I particularly like is the Ufocap: These little guys cost about $10 on eBay and weigh about 170 grams. Even if they look a bit silly they should do the job. The ones with transparent panels (at least at the front) would help you see where you were going.



17/07/2017: I've Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe's Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling, Cheryl Benard : ‘Finally, the Left has to do a bit of hard thinking. It’s fine to be warm, fuzzy and sentimental about strangers arriving on your shores, but let’s also spare some warm, fuzzy and sentimental thoughts for our own values, freedoms and lifestyle. Girls and women should continue to feel safe in public spaces, be able to attend festivals, wear clothing appropriate to the weather and their own liking, travel on trains, go to the park, walk their dogs and live their lives. This is a wonderful Western achievement, and one that is worth defending.’

17/07/2017: Wonderful - Russell Redenbaugh's 'Shift the Narrative': ‘Other than my eyesight, I was a perfectly healthy teenage boy who still had one year of high school to complete…being blind did not mean I would be poor, dependent and homebound…To read Redenbaugh’s inspiring story about overcoming physical obstacles in concert with even greater ones of perception is to question all this sympathy for prosperity’s so-called victims.’

17/07/2017: Transylvania’s solution to the ‘problem’ of divorce might be rather cheaper than the ones our society has implemented:

16/07/2017: Naismith's Rule

'Is a rule of thumb that helps in the planning of a walking or hiking expedition by calculating how long it will take to walk the route, including the extra time taken when walking uphill. It was devised by William W. Naismith, a Scottish mountaineer, in 1892.  A modern version of this rule can be formulated i.e. as follows: Allow 1 hour for every 3 mi (5 km) forward, plus 1 hour for every 2000 ft (600 m) of ascent.' Clearly the 'rule' is about young, fit people walking on clear flat terrain. If you are older or 'bush-bashing' you will have to apply some corrections.

'It does not account for delays, such as extended breaks for rest or sightseeing, or for navigational obstacles...Over the years several adjustments have been formulated in an attempt to make the rule more accurate. The simplest correction is to add 25 or 50% to the time predicted using Naismith's rule.'

I think the rule is a reasonable guide for 'track walkers'. Those of us who prefer more remote places will no doubt have worked out other ways of estimating. Doubling the time in much of the Victorian bush is reasonable. In off-track walks in Fiordland, forget it. There it will take you longer than you can believe to traverse a couple of kilometres!

The most important consideration is life is not a race. I have often encountered folks hurrying to their destination (ultimately death) who take no time to observe the wonders along the way. One of the advantages of being old is that it imposes a restraint such that you do have time 'to smell the roses'.

16/07/2017: Lessons from Kim Jong-un and Saddam Hussein: Why do those North Koreans evince such obvious love for their ‘glorious leader’? Because in his country ‘transgressions’ are punished unto the fourth generation! Saddam too used to eradicate the entire family of such folk. Such harsh punishments certainly give a salutary lesson in ‘proper’ behaviour. I would not advocate anything quite so harsh here, but nonetheless I think it is long since time that we understood that the family ought be the first recourse in matters of welfare and moral behaviour, for example – not the State. By pushing everything onto the State which quite properly belonged in the private realm we have on the one hand created a monster, and on the other hand encouraged people to simply opt out of their responsibilities. The ‘absent father’ syndrome is an obvious case in point, as is generational welfare, family violence and inter-generational criminality. We need to reprise the social primacy of the family in our society and support it, rather than attempt to further undermine it. And Yes, I do think that a judicial review of how the family can be harnessed to promote and enhance good behaviour is sorely overlooked. If, for example, the family has ignored or supported anti-social behaviour amongst its members at least some of the blame (and indeed the punishment) should fall on them. I would not go so far as Kim (and execute everyone out to the fourth generation), but close relatives eg parents, siblings and children who ought to be and are aware of what is going on (and do nothing) ought to bear some legal responsibility.


16/07/2017: The Carbon-Fed ‘Sixth Mass Genesis’ – An Anthropocene Success Story! So, the rate of species creation far exceeds the rate of species extinction (as I have long suspected). All the woe is just another ‘green’ lie.


15/07/2017: 60 DIY Ultralight Hiker Ideas: I have been posting my DIY things for quite some time now. Thought you might like to see a collection of my ‘creations’.


15/07/2017: Fascists have won: The plastic bag ban shows exactly the same modus operandi as Hitler and Mussolini employed and makes me very angry. An extremist group allied to big business or government tramples on the public. We have been seeing the same sort of outcomes in energy policy, conservation, etc. It makes one feel so powerless. All hope is lost! Of course, if only one of the big two supermarket chains had adopted this we would all have switched to the other. I will be doing lots of my shopping at IGA. I expect many folk will adopt the strategy of stealing the baskets - as with Bunnings. They are very handy baskets, I must say!  & also:


15/07/2017: Child ‘marriage’: ‘Those who spread the culture of opposition to early marriage in our society are unknowingly serving Satan’ – and you think these folk will just ‘fit in’? & it gets worse:


15/07/2017: Women and girls should not have to put up with such sickos sharing their showers and toilets. They certainly should not be prosecuted for trying to cover themselves when such folks enter! Besides, what use such folks could possibly be in our militaries is beyond me:




14/07/2017: ‘Happy’ Bastille Day:


14/07/2017: If you thought the welfare state was out of control in Oz, you should try India. I’m glad that my kids aren’t so venal as this, and that there are (as yet) no tigers in Gippsland:

14/07/2017: How dare You Liken Yourself, or Your Government, to that of Menzies – this from someone who knew the great man for more a than a quarter of a century?

14/07/2017: Cut out the subsidy and Tesla doesn’t sell a single vehicle. Good luck with that ban on petrol/diesel vehicles, Macron: Mind you, they burn easily:

13/07/2017: ‘City where heroin is cheaper than beer: Melbourne’s heroin scourge is spiralling out of control as the killer narcotic’s cheap price fuels an open-air drug market on the streets. The Herald Sun reports heroin as cheap as just $17 a hit is leading to a crisis not seen since the 1990s, and has sparked renewed calls for safe injecting rooms. A hit is now cheaper than a sixpack of beer or a packet of cigarettes. Residents in the epicentre of the crisis — Victoria St, North Richmond — have slammed political inaction for the growing death toll. The Victorian government is resisting calls for trials of supervised injection rooms, saying the situation is complex with no single solution’. (One might add that it is easier, particularly for young people to get than cigs or booze!)

13/07/2017: Genyornis - A 2 metre tall duck! How come more folks haven’t seen one of these:

13/07/2017: Some say, ‘Tolerance is a virtue’ but I say, 'Poppycock!' There may be a million religions and at least as many ‘gods’. Clearly not all can be true, but all can (indeed must) be false. I would say, ‘There is no God’ (not Allah, Jahweh, Ba’al, Krishna or even Loki – my personal favourite!) and Mohammed (Jesus, Buddha, Zoroaster, etc) is not his/her prophet. Those who pretend to know the will of fictional ‘gods’ and be able to pass on their pronouncements are always and all when fakers and scoundrels (just as no-one can know the future, and anyone who claims to be able to should be given a wide berth!) All religion (rather than being the source of enlightenment) is the enemy of truth. Its business is always to obscure and obstruct the process of discourse, enquiry and the pursuit of knowledge. It is perfectly appropriate to be intolerant of all religions.


13/07/2017: So, another cup of java would be a good idea: and a couple of glasses of wine too!


12/07/2017: If only that was the solution…well, at least it would be more fun: Mr Kennett said he was so disillusioned about the state of the modern Liberal Party under Mr Turnbull that he wanted to drink whisky before 9am’


12/07/2017: Something new for chocoholics, snortable chocolate:

12/07/2017: Waffle is king: The world gone mad: ‘Job description: You design and engineer component-form devices within extremely limited geometric and dimensional parameters, particularly as those parameters relate to approximate prolate spheroids…You also have a deep knowledge of plastics and related polymers, including their tensile strength to mass and area ratios, durability under repeated stress applications, post-fabrication thermal conductivity and chill resistance. What it means: You make Kinder Surprise toys.’

11/07/2017: Human evolution surprises: ‘Here is what they found. A skeleton of a boy who died 2,000 years ago at a place called Ballito Bay has yielded a good sample of preserved DNA. He was a Khoe-San, that is to say an indigenous native of southern Africa of the kind once called “bushmen”, who still live in the Kalahari desert. But unlike all today’s Khoe-San he had no DNA from black Africans or white Europeans in him. Neither had yet arrived in southern Africa. So comparing the Ballito boy’s DNA to all modern people’s DNA made it possible to calculate when we last shared a common ancestor with him. The date was a big surprise: more than 260,000 years ago. That is to say, 2,600 centuries, ten times as long ago as the extinction of the Neanderthals in Europe, and halfway back to the split between human beings and the ancestors of Neanderthals. Surprisingly, the Ballito Boy’s people appear to have had little or no genetic contact with other African people as recently as 2,000 years ago, but they have had considerable gene mixing since.’

11/07/2017: What proponents of the ‘minimum wage’ and like social experiments forget: the minimum wage is always zero!

11/07/2017: I have ‘enjoyed’ a couple or three fairly bumpy airline trips (and have flown into and out of Lukla (the world’s most dangerous airport) but I’m kind of glad I wasn’t on any of these planes:

10/07/2017: The Don on the West. Great Speech: ‘There is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations. We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers. We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression. We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves. And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization… We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive. If anyone forgets the critical importance of these things, let them come to one country that never has. Let them come to Poland...Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield — it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls. Today, the ties that unite our civilization are no less vital, and demand no less defense, than that bare shred of land on which the hope of Poland once totally rested. Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory…What we have, what we inherited from our -- and you know this better than anybody, and you see it today with this incredible group of people -- what we've inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before.  And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again.  So we cannot fail.’


10/07/2017: The Anthropocene: ‘The number of species living in virtually every country or island has already increased during the period of human influence, and numbers continue to increase…More new plant species have come into hybrid existence in Britain in the last 300 years than are listed as having died out in the whole of Europe. No doubt you have heard how humankind is causing a mass extinction event like to the Permian extinction, but what if we were causing a mass speciation event where the number of species was just about exploding:


10/07/2017: Has your electricity gone up? A very instructive article about how the electricity system actually works by two renowned experts; (important fact: No new base load generator has been built in Australia since 1992 – twenty-five years!). Instead we have squandered more than it would have cost to replace aging coal fired stations with modern ones which would have continued to deliver electricity for 3 cents a kilowatt hour and with more CO2 savings than the wastrel mad green solar/wind/etc schemes:


10/07/2017: Good Grief: The madness just gets worse:

09/07/2017: Bathtub Groundsheet Chair: As you can see I have completed the first prototype of this project which I have long threatened. I learned a lot in the process, so that there will be substantial changes between where it is at now and the completed project. Still, you can see that it works. I created four ‘sleeves’ along the sides of the chair, back and seat) which you can slip lengths of dead sticks in for stiffening. I used some slats I had lying around from a broken door. You can see the end of one sticking up on the top right of the third photo.

There are three horizontal pieces of fabric which hold the infated pad in the two positions, one at each end and one (nearly) in the centre. I sewed the centre one at each end but I think I will unpick one line of stitching (as it might not be necessary, then when I want to configure the chair as a bed I can slip the mattress underneath it which will pull the sides up more to create a bathtub effect. If I make the two webbing straps a little longer they can also be clicked together criss-crossed to accentuate this effect. I think I will need a piece of elastic around about where my knees are in the second photo to firm up the ‘bathtub’ effect there.

I am thinking 3.5 oz Dyneema for the sleeves and triangular tie-outs the webbing is attached to.  A lighter Robic material might work well here. The bottoms of the back sleeves may need some reinforcing as that seems to be where the most stress occurs. I am thinking 1.3 oz silnylon for the floor. I know that this will wear through over time, but should last for many nights until then. You can also re-waterproof the silicon side as explained here: I am thinking that the completed chair will weigh perhaps less then 90 grams! As you can see the prototype weighs 138 (but that is with 1.85 oz/yd2 Tyvek and 3/4″ buckles and webbing instead of 1/2″).

bathtub groundsheet chair

Ready for bed:

bathtub groundsheet

Detailed view:

ultralight hiking chair groundsheet

Prototype size and weight:

You can see how unpicking the middle horizontal (which made no difference to the performance of the chair) pulls the sides up in groundsheet mode. Clipping the webbing diagonally will also help. 

It’s quite comfy too if you configure it as a lounger like this. The Klymit Ultralight Pillow ( can be used as a seat to boost height if required:

PS: Only the back sticks seem to be necessary, though the bottom sticks may add some minimal comfort. I will experiment with this. If so, I can reduce the weight by omitting the bottom sleeves.

See Also:

09/07/2017: Hitler the Last Ten Days 1973: Sir Alec Guinness made a brilliant Fuhrer in this bleak film. So often we almost believed that it was a Monty Python sketch; it was so surreal. Hitler’s anti-smoking policy showed him to be a true leader, as with so many things – eg his green credentials. His determination to fight (and party!) on despite the world crumbling around him reminds me of Mosul this morning. And Hamburg too. Not just the way half the city seems to be engulfed in flames set by thousands of out-of-control anarchists. The way all about him were still convinced, still true believers, echoed the way the 19 countries still voted for the ‘Paris Accord’ today. His birthday party and last minute marriage were just such poignant reminders of how mad so many folks really are. I was beguiled by the ending, the way (after he had shot himself) all those still standing (at last liberated from his diktat) lit up a final cigarette – but then you knew they would be off to their separate tiny bunkers to quaff their cyanide tabs! And feed them to their ‘innocent’ children! What a heartbreak old world it is. You should get hold of a copy and watch it. Copious libations should be prepared in advance…


09/07/2017: Eli Wiesel dies at 87:


09/07/2017: More Fake News:If the media cannot accurately report something you can see with your own eyes - something caught on tape - then how can you trust a single thing it says about Trump?’


09/07/2017: A couple of days ago we had the coldest temperatures ever recorded (East Sale was -10C, over 5C colder than the previous record)…Just suppose the ‘Little Ice Age’ is on its way back…what effect would a growing season which was ie one month late and only 2.5C cooler have? Answer: harvest down over 50%! Result: billions starve. And some folks are still worrying about global warming?

08/07/2017: Leatherman Juice B2: Leatherman just keep coming up with entrancing products to separate us from our hard-earned. Here's a nice example, the Leatherman Juice B2:

'Sometimes, all you need is a knife. The Juice B2 has one serrated and one straight-edge knife made from high quality steel and backed by our 25 year warranty.

leatherman juice b2

  • Closed Length 3.2 in | 8.2 cm
  • Weight 1.3 oz | 36.8 g
  • Blade Length 2.2 in | 5.6 cm'

See Also:

08/07/2017: Never buy clothes again! These folks are making garments they reckon you can’t wear out (from Kevlar). For example their 100 Year Hoodie: They’ve taken aramid fibres with a strength to weight ratio five times stronger than steel and spun them into a super soft knit to make the most indestructible hoodie you’ve ever worn.

100 Year Hoodie: Raw edition

They also sell undergarments:

Pair them with these dyneema jeans and you will never need to buy clothes again:

08/07/2017: It will be a long time before this species is listed as ‘endangered’:

08/07/2017: There are always savings you can make: &

08/07/2017: Poser: If climate change is real, whether the world is heating/cooling, would it be sane to reduce our energy resources & therefore ability to deal with it: we may need a lot more heaters and greenhouses or a lot more air conditioners in the future...Of course greens are not sane.

07/07/2017: Poncho Tent Update: Today my waterproof zippers arrived so I sewed them on (and they work a treat!) I also made up the small extra piece which can be used to close the tent up completely. This piece will weigh just less than 30 grams in silnylon on the completed tent bringing its total weight to approx 180 grams or about 240 grams with titanium stakes, guys etc. You have to admit that this is pretty good for a tent which is also a raincoat! With the extra piece sewn in and zipped up the tent would make emergency accommodation for two (lying down) or probably four sitting up, so it could certainly save lives in unexpected bad weather.

Spot helping me measure and cut out the extra door piece:

And here it is with the almost invisible #3 waterproof zips sewn on:

And zipped in:

Della sitting in the tent - to give you some idea of how roomy it is:

The tent is plenty big enough for her to sit up with legs stretched out.

I admit I could have pitched it a bit tauter. I may put large ribber bands on each of the tie-outs to facilitate this. My sole concern with a tent actually is that it goes up easily, stays up and keeps you dry. prettiness is not part of my lexicon:


You can stake the door flap out like this to create even more space:

And it works as a raincoat:

It is 8' long at the widest point, so a large person can sleep in it without touching any of the sides - and you can have a fire out the front to warm it. Dogs love it!

Now to move on to the silnylon version - and complete my <100 gram bathtub-groundsheet-chair to use with it.

See Also:

07/07/2017: More incredible crookedness from the climate mafia, but the Don will fix it: &


07/07/2017: Another mystery of WW2: I can’t imagine why some of these things are still secrets. For example, a Japanese plane (off a submarine in Bass Strait) was shot down by the AA guns at Yallourn Power Station during WW2 and crashed in Middle Creek just around the corner from us. The Air Force came and took it away. Lots of the older locals saw it. But there is still no official record that this ever happened, so Amelia may well have survived her crash – but not the Japanese:


07/07/2017: Fascinating C19th Photos of Britain:

06/07/2017: The Turnbull Jihad:

League of gentlemen: Ali Fahour, Bachar Houli and Malcolm Turnbull

There are now 15 Federal seats with ‘significant’ Moslem populations, 13 held by Labor. Hence Labor’s distinct move towards anti-semitism eg in relation to its changed policy on Israel. But anti-semitism is not the same as Islamophobia. Islam is a serious political problem which needs to be tackled head on:  & 

06/07/2017: Menzies’ Twilight: ‘The main trouble in my state is that we have the State Executive of the Liberal party, which is dominated by what they now call ‘Liberals with a small l’ — that is to say, Liberals who believe in nothing but who still believe in anything if they think it worth a few votes. The whole thing is tragic.’ 8 April 1974. I think you can see where Bob would have come down in the contest between Malcolm and Tony! And he would have been right!

06/07/2017: Last Revolutionary War Veteran: The most astonishing thing about this story is the proportion of the small numbers who fought eg compared with WW1 who were still alive nearly a hundred years after the event – and that in a world without all the wondrous advances in ‘health care’ we enjoy today:

06/07/2017: George Washington. Extraordinary Man. What a lot of precepts to live by – but they are good ones: (It is amazing how many ‘invisible laws’ we all obey):

06/07/2017: Just some of the problems of  ‘renewables’:

05/07/2017: Well done lads:


05/07/2017: The real problem with labor-lite is the failure to articulate the benefits of conservatism and (dare I say it?) capitalism:

05/07/2017: Other folk live like this: ‘My check didn’t come.’ There are so many ‘people who appear to live without a sense of personal agency…full of excuses for their disappointing and feckless lives…the passive voice reveals that these are people who lack the inner resources to act affirmatively or planfully, to adapt to change or bad luck, adjust, or to learn from experience. It is sad to see, and there is no cure for it. Lots of boats, and lives, end up on the rocks’:

04/07/2017: Black Diamond Storm Waterproof Headlamp: A year ago I though this was the greatest head torch ever:

black diamond storm

Now, Black Diamond has a new model which blows it out of the water literally – being waterproof! their new model boasts an incredible 350 lumens though it uses an extra AAA battery (4 rather than 3). It still has superb run time and functionality though. This should be a good head torch for a bit of nighttime bunny busting (with a range on High of 80 metres). It lasts on High for 22 hours, and on Low for 160 – a full week, and weighs 110 grams including batteries! It is available on Massdrop at the moment for US$35.95 and I have found it on eBay this morning for US$39.95 (free shipping) which is about the same. Isn’t it ‘Xmas in July’ just now?

  • Black Diamond
  • Lumens: 350
  • LED types: 1 QuadPower, 2 DoublePower, 3 SinglePower
  • Settings: Full strength in proximity and distance modes; dimming; strobe; red, green, and blue night vision; lock mode
  • Rated IPX67: Tested to operate up to 3.3 ft (1 m) underwater for 30 mins
  • Maximum distance, high: 262.5 ft (80 m)
  • Maximum distance, low: 36 ft (11 m)
  • Maximum burn time, high: 22 hrs
  • Maximum burn time, low: 160 hrs
  • Batteries: 4 AAA (included)
  • PowerTap technology
  • Brightness Memory
  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • Weight with batteries: 3.9 oz (110 g)’

04/07/2017: Independence Day: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."


04/07/2017: The Fate of the Greenland Vikings:


04/07/2017: The most beautiful nuclear bomb:

03/07/2017: Hardtack: A recipe for folks who want to experience just how hard life was in the past.  I think you should try it. I used to eat it with relish when I was a kid, but back then kids were always hungry and would eat just about anything. You only have to notice how much taller youths are today than the average height of folks over 60 to see that this was true! The virtue that it certainly has is that it lasts in storage for years as the photo below amply illustrates.

If you want to eat flour based food (which is quite economic weight and space wise), maybe ‘Johnny Cakes’ (or fried scones) a traditional Australian favourite is more ‘for you’. I used to make these all the time when I was hiking, but I have come up with so many other recipes over the years that I usually don’t bother any more, mostly as they were a bit fiddly. You need to carry some fat for the frying for one thing. Once this had leaked all over my pack once or twice it put me off. Using dripping or tallow (as explained in yesterday’s post) would obviate this: I developed a recipe wihich was a bit more interesting than the traditional water, flour, salt one. The addition of eg some milk powder, some desiccated cocnut, a little sugar, some slivered almonds – even a few sultanas – makes the cakes into something quite pleasant and entertaining to enjoy. Here are a couple of recipes you might try from: &


03/07/2017: Malcolm is worried. He threatens to take his bat and ball and walk:

03/07/2017: ‘The deal we seem to have come to in Europe is that, on the minus side, we’ve got a bit more gang rape and beheading than we used to have, but on the plus side, there’s a much wider range of cuisine. So it’s all swings and roundabouts.’ Mark Steyn

03/07/2017: 100,000 ‘new’ aboriginals since the last census five years ago! Now there are more than twice as many as used to be calculated inhabited the entire continent before European settlement. Ergo, there has to be some pretty good incentives for claiming ‘aboriginality’ considering folks are always spruiking ‘aboriginal disadvantage’. If ‘they’ keep increasing at this rate ‘they’ will outnumber everyone else in about fifty years! It is hard to see how the transfer payments to ‘them’ can continue much longer. Certainly not longer than that! O woes, there is an end to the gravy train!  Bizarrely there is now a larger proportion of Tasmanians who identify as ‘aboriginal’ (4.6%) than mainlanders (2.8%) Take a look at what is happening in ‘indigenous affairs’ in Canada. Do we want that here:


03/07/2017: Death is probably cheaper than divorce, but it is still completely unaffordable: ‘In that Medicare spending, between one-fourth and one-third goes to medical bills for a patient's final year of life, most of it in the last 30 days’. Most of this could be avoided if people accepted they should die quietly at home. We should get over it. We are not so unique and precious that others should have to pay over most of their taxes just to keep us alive (without even interesting bon mots as a reward in most cases! I DID like the General whose final words were reputedly, ‘They couldn’t hit an elephant from th…’). Face it, some really big savings could be made for all of us in the Health, Education and Welfare budgets.

02/07/2017: First Bag Your Omelet: Long ago I noticed that powdered eggs are once again available in Australia: Coles Supermarkket, Cake aisle: and that they would go well with the Hormel’s Bacon Pieces (Dehydrated).

Farm Pride Powdered Whole Eggs omelet recipe

It’s a bit like noticing that dehydrated French Onion Soup ought to be a great resource and meal base but then never getting around to inventing a meal which uses it. Well I did with the onion soup, see for example:

Now it is the powdered eggs’ turn. Of course I have already tried them out as reconstituted scrambled eggs and they make a fine breakfast, particularly if you fry some Chinese sausage with them (it doesn’t require refrigeration until after the packet is opened, so you have to eat itall. Oh Dear! It comes in approx 155 gram packets, so it’s not too much) The sausage also gives you the oil to cook the eggs in. A little bit of powdered milk in with the powdered eggs makes them fluffier and tastier, just like with fresh ingredients at home!

You can bring along some tallow to fry your omelet in (as described here or you can bring along the omelet ingredients mixed together in a ziplock bag, add enough water to reconstitute them then simmer the bag in your cookpot - which means you don’t need oil, and you don’t have to wash up either!

I would definitely want some onion and garlic powder in my omelet, and some bacon pieces. If you have brought some dried tomatoes, they would go well too. There are a number of other interesting dried herbs you might add, eg thyme, basil, oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. I also enjoy curried eggs. I’m sure you have your own favourite omelet recipes. Oh, I always have some cheese along (for lunches). A little bit of shaved cheese always goes nicely on an omelet. As I have some salami (also for lunch) ditto!

Some other recipes from folks who find it easier to find dehydrated vegies than we do in Australia!

Or you can cook your at home then dehydrate it, eg:

02/07/2017: Tesla car battery production releases as much CO2 as 8 years of gasoline driving (and that’s before it is even fitted to the car): Given that it will likely last less than 8 years before needing to be replaced, it seems unlikely that it could ever be ‘greener’ than eg a Suzuki Alto:


02/07/2017: "Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers."


02/07/2017: Why fruit makes you fat:


02/07/2017: ‘That civilisation may not sink, Its great battle lost…’ (Yeats: Long legged Fly). I would add the election of the Abbott Government to Melanie’s list. The Anglosphere is the best thing which has occurred in a millennium, indeed in all history. It is worth defending, Yea, even dying for. Yet it is fragile and endangered everywhere by its enemies ‘ideologies such as moral and cultural relativism, feminism and multiculturalism’…Read on:


01/07/2017: Life found a very early way indeed:


01/07/2017: A Matter of Conscience? I feared this would happen. The awful tyranny of the Left. Again, and again: Sweden Will Force Priests to Perform Gay Marriages Against Their Will, just as nurses are already forced to assist with abortions:


01/07/2017: Terrorists finding it hard to get jobs:  So let’s give them new fake identities: Now that’s a great idea!

30/06/2017: Multiple Use: There is no doubt that one of the best ways to achieve ultralight hiking weight savings is if gear you carry serves several purposes. Thus for example, the Poncho tent I am working on ( and likewise the bathtub floor groundsheet/chair I am also working on below (coming soon).

However, I finished these 12 gram (ea) shoes way back in April. They worked wonderfully well for my Fiordland Moose Hunting expedition on this year's Dusky Track walk ( & ff), and I had already posted a photo of what they weighed with and without the shoe inserts, yet somehow it had not occurred to me that I need not carry inserts specially for them when I could use the inserts from my shoes which I had definitely tested to make sure they absorbed no water after last year's shoe disaster on the South Coast track walk with Della:

Clearly though, all I need to do is dry my shoes' inserts put them inside my hut booties and I have saved an ounce! Twice as much as I could save by switching to the lighter containers I wrote about in my last post: Still, every gram makes a difference.

PS: You will notice that in the second photo the draw string tightens only around the heel. The reason for this is to allow maximum air flow out the top of the shoe so that it doesn't get clammy. I chose waterproof material so that I could walk through wet grass (as you need to do in camp, eg to put wood on the fire). It is really nice to have dry feet at the end of a day's walking, but you don't need to carry a brick around to make it so.

Weight of the shoe bare:

With blue foam inserts. (Not very serviceable):

With proprietary urethane inserts:

The shoe in the photo has been used for over a week on the trail so that you can see how tough the material is. You could make them last longer by painting some liquid latex on the sole (for wear) every so often, but this would increase the weight too.


PS: I know I haven't finished posting the patterns, instructions, etc. Please be patient. I am busy. I still have kilometres of fencing to build (another awful section through a dreadful slip completed yesterday) - and it is cold and wet, and I am old!

30/06/2017: ‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.’ Charles Darwin.


30/06/2017: This is the way for ‘nation building’ projects. No feasibility study? No problems:


30/06/2017: Saudi man and his 17 year old wife leave their 8 month old baby in the car whilst they take their 4 year old to the cinema. See anything wrong with this? Of course not. Fortunately they were prosecuted for this, but he was not gaoled for paedophilia:


30/06/2017: Industry is already beginning to fold all over Australia because of a lack of affordable electricity and gas and other mad Green schemes. It is ironic that in SA one of the first to fail is a Green industry:


29/06/2017: I have trouble finding my glasses yet Mars Rover Opportunity has found a bit of man-made space junk on the surface of that vast empty desert, larger than the land surface of the Earth. We should have set this little guy to looking for MH370!


Image of a strange, metallic looking object from the Mars Opportunity rover. Picture: NASA


29/06/2017: Paul Murray: You know you are in trouble when fewer people trust you to mind their pets than babysit their kids’:

29/06/2017: Lord knows I am not much of a footie fan, but it sickens me when I learn that Malcolm barracks for Bachar Houli’s ‘good character’ and gains him a lesser penalty than other players would receive on account of his wonderful, peaceful religion: &


29/06/2017: Seems we really needed those #illridewithyou bollards during Ramadan. Here’s the ‘Ramadan’ score for that wonderful, peaceful religion:


Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 8.57.39 am


 28/06/2017: We have thrown our country away. It may be too late to save it. Our Census results are alarming. We have had 1.3 million ‘new Australians’ in the last ten years alone. Now, those born overseas are over a quarter of us. Half of them are from Asia. Christianity has shrunk to barely 50%. Islam is our second biggest ‘religion’. Perhaps Tony can still save us, but I am deeply sceptical. On the other hand:


28/06/2017: ‘The Dead Sea and the Red Sea are already up to 10 degrees Celsius warmer than our Reef which has temps as low as 14 C during winter. Yet the Dead and Red Seas of the Middle East, with average temperatures of 30 C, have equally magnificent coral reefs (Red Sea Pictured). How can these corals exist in water so hot compared to ours?’ By the same token, the reef only came into existence after the last Ice Age as sea levels rose. When they fall again during the next one, it will die anyway. Larry Pickering:


28/06/2017: About those ‘Breatharians’ or ‘Airarians’ as they used to be called before ‘Vegetarians’ became ‘Vegans’ – if you can realistically give up food and water, couldn’t you further reduce your environmental footprint by giving up breathing? After all, every breath you exhale is just full of that nasty CO2 stuff which is really ruining the planet, isn’t it? Why if this goes on, we might one day have as much of it as we had in the Holocene 8,000 years ago, or even in the Jurassic when there was 50 times as much of it, and the planet was simply replete with life:

27/06/2017: A Spot of Solitude: My back and knee are still giving me trouble but the Meniers which has plagued me for the last fortnight seems to have taken a holiday, so I wanted to get away for a couple of days to see whether I was still up to some gentler country. I may need another back operation and I don't look forward to that. The knee I hurt looking for moose back in April in the Henry Burn near Supper Cove, Dusky Sound Fiordland NZ (See: & ff. The tyranny of aging really.

This is a new spot for me, so I did not know what to expect, for example would there be few deer as it had been badly burned out a few years ago? It might have been too thick or would it be impossibly crowded being relatively easy to access, and only gentle walking? Usually I would need my pack raft to get across this river to where I intended to camp and hunt but it has been so dry this winter I could simply walk across with Spot the Jack Russell riding on my pack, of course! I guess most people don't do much canoe hunting ( and don't pay attention to the BOM's River Heights as there was no-one at all about, even though it was a lovely sunny weekend in the High Country. Suits me!

I was surprised at once by how chewed out the bush was along the river. All the available grass and forbs were chewed right down to the ground, and they had been gnawing at this nasty prickly wattle.

And the many stags are smashing them to bits! Good riddance!

This tiny gully had been thoroughly scoured. There are too many deer here actually. It is wonderful though how the large herbivores create the clearings, isn't it? Did you realise that tens of millions of years ago grass made an alliance with the herbivores and declared war on the forests? The result is the pattern of great plains and receding forests we see on the planet today. Once the word for world was 'forest'. Now it is 'earth'. Grasslands store several times as much carbon (in their soil) per acre as forests do in total. They do this to prevent the trees from having it. They feed the herbivores and the herbivores keep the forest at bay and nourish the grasslands with their dung and dead bodies. A tiny part of that great battle is what we see in this small valley.

I only had a little time to look around as I needed to make camp and gather some firewood. This trip had been a 'spur of the moment' decision. I had not decided to go until well after breakfast or started out much before lunch - and I needed to be back tomorrow night! Still, little trips are sweet! I very hastily erected my tent, as it was getting dark. No great wind was expected so I did not peg it out properly. It  would still keep what little rain was expected off me. A large tree had fallen and shattered so I had more than a ute load of firewood ready in no time - and I needed it. The night was cold! Spot chased a stag away through the wattles as I was gathering wood. I could hear his antlers clattering against the saplings.

Spot enjoys the fire, and my sleeping bag. Always hard to get him off/out of it and into his own at bedtime.

A fire is such a lovely thing!

It's certainly warm enough inside though in that lovely warm yellow glow. I hope you like my new Deerhunter's Shirt. Kathmandu had a sale on these wonderful 'Tomar' wool shirts last week for $89. They still do: A great colour. So much better, and more practical than all that silly camo! Wool is just great!

Spledid to just stretch your feet out towards the fire and watch the greatest show in town:

Isn't it grand?

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I also finished the fourteenth volume of Poul Anderson's 'Flandry' ebooks on my phone while listening to some soothing music. What a cracker of a read they all are. So long as you love Sci-Fi as I do, anyway. Anderson is a genius!

In the morning Spot's bowl was quite iced up. It is the container of one of those Sirena Tuna meals, probably the Mexican Beans which are my favourite. It makes for a good ultralight cereal bowl, if you are looking for one! You will have to fight the dog for this one!

I just love watching the mist rising from the river in the dawn when I am doing the dishes:

Like this. Just so magical!

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Looking back at my peaceful camp among the wattles. What an idyllic scene! In other countries you would have to pay thousands to find such peace and tranquility. So far in Australia we are still blessed. In Victoria at least.

But, time to take a look around...It is easy and instructive to follow a game trail like this:

It will lead you past preaching trees such as this and deer bedding areas, sometimes a wallow. As you can see, as soon as you get away from the river, the fire regrowth is pretty thick - and already starting to die from overmuch competition. You will not be able to see a deer far off in this sort of country. A telescopic site, (a culler's tool really) would be no use here. This is the sort of country where the lever action comes into its own. You can carry it unloaded (as you should any gun) but you can quickly throw it to your shoulder as you load for a quick snap shot at a fleeing deer. You must always be aware of what is behind the deer though. There must be solid earth or else you must not fire. A .30 calibre round can easily kill someone a couple of kms away!

This deer path up this small valley is pretty easy to follow. 'They went thataway' says Spot. Well, actually they came from thataway. I am hoping they circled around back to where they came from, and will be looking the other way! Sometimes this is a better strategy than following them. There is a cold wind blowing from that way, and the sun is shining from this way, so they will be bedded in a warm spot out of the wind over there.

You can see it gets quite thick. Plenty of private bedding areas, but you will not see a deer faraway. Very chewed out - both a good and bad sign.

Here are a couple of nice fresh rubs. The path between them marks the edge of this stag's territory. He will prowl this regularly scent marking and thrashing like this to warn others off his hinds. I will follow his line and see where it leads. He is along it somewhere.

And it leads into very thick stuff indeed with just the occasional small clearing and bedding spot. This old doe had just lain down here and never got back up. She might have starved, died from old age - or worse still carried a bullet all the way from the road perhaps. On this occasion a herd of other deer (doubtless her relatives) had been sleeping contentedly beside her remains. I have seen this before. I canoed down the Macalister after the devastating fires there a few years ago when the river was still full of dead eels as thick as your legs and as long as you are, and the banks still strewn with the carcasses of innumerable wallabies etc which had starved.The place reeked and the river water was nearly one-half mud by volume. I filled an empty drink bottle which stood on our window ledge for many years to illustrate this. It's no wonder all the fish died.

There is a spot in the bush there (on the true left bank) where there is an ancient quince tree, a reminder folks lived there once long ago - during the gold rushes perhaps. Such wonderfully productive trees can live for 800 years and produce over a tonne of fruit each year. How much better than gum trees is that? Right under the tree was the mummified body of a hind, and camping right next to her were her twins who yelped an raced off as I approached. She had died trying to keep them alive and they had stayed with her body for weeks. I noticed that a few minutes after they thought the coast was clear they crept back to be by her side. And 'they' say that animals don't have souls or (human) feelings! I hoped they would survive to carry on her legacy.

The deer had even been chewing at this inedible stuff, doing a good job of clearing it perhaps, but getting little nutrition. A group of deer was bedded here. One honked at me and several others exploded off in all directions. It was just too thick to see any of them.

This drier ridge downhill provides a little further viewing than the thick stuff. This particular trail is incredibly well traveled. It has a raised edge nearly six inches high! A deer highway!

I wanted to get a good photo of Spot, the rubs and the pronounced deer trail. I was concentrating on that, whilst Spot was looking at something else. I guess you could see about thirty metres through this stuff.

What he could see was a young stag's legs. After a while I saw them too. By this time unfortunately my back was starting to kill me again (not to mention my knee) so I was not wanting to carry out a mess of dead deer anyway. I thought I would just sling my gun and see if I could get a photo of the bit of the deer you could see for illustrative purposes. If you are looking for a whole deer, you will likely not see one in such thick bush. An ankle, an ear, a nose, a bright eye, a tail going up (How the eye is attracted to movement!). That is what you see.

Unfortunately, as I moved the gun, he saw that movement, and giving me a very loud 'Hello' or 'Goodbye' he was off. I could have knocked him over with a snap shot chancing that the bullet would not be deflected by such whippy undergrowth, but that is certainly the way to produce a wounded deer such as the skeleton I had found before. He would be there (and bigger) another day. Mostly, for me, deer hunting is an excuse to be wandering around in our wonderful bush. I certainly don't need the meat - I have a flock of sheep, and I prefer lamb anyway.

I walked back down to the river. I was probably less than 200 yards from it. The deer in this place are not retreating very far at night from their favourite feeding grounds, but they are having to travel more and more each night for a feed. Along the river the going is flatter and it is generally much clearer. Most places you would get a shot up to 100 yards. Ideal country for hammock hunting really: You could wander along the river flats until just before dark, noting spots where there are two suitable trees (or a flat enough spot for your tent) and plenty of firewood (and access to the river for water for your billy). Or, if you were hunting it regularly, you could mark a route along the river back to your pre-chosen camping spots with these sweet little thumbtack reflectors which would allow you to find your way easily with your head torch in the total darkness:

I have all these fences to build at home, so I headed home. Unfortunately, on my way, I saw the butchered carcass of a deer not ten foot off  the main road, a road which hundreds of tourist vehicles traveled each day. Obviously shot in the lights! So completely unnecessary. The country is crawling with deer. But how many photos have you seen of guys with whole deer carcasses on the back of their trucks in hunting magazines? How far do you think they could have carried a whole sambar? Of course I was disgusted, and of course I moved it  further back into the bush. But you see this sort of thing too often. You have to think what folks who aren't hunters will think. 'Expletive deleted Hunters!' is what. And right after that that 'hunting' should be banned! Despite the fact that then there would be a plague of deer, and tens of thousands of them would starve, and the bush be wholly devastated by their presence. We have to eliminate the rogue element.

As hunters we need to be much more careful about the ethics of what we do, or we will lose our sport. People do not need to see hunters wearing lots of camo, carrying great big guns. You can wear much more suitable wool clothing as I do, which will attract no attention. You can carry a take down gun which is in your pack when you leave and arrive at your car so that people will not be the least alarmed. Any bits of deer you bring back can be discreetly inside your pack. And you can give the deer a chance by not using telescopic sights or shooting deer which cannot see you. Your quarry ought to be able to use the senses nature provided it with to avoid being killed. You have all the unfair advantage you need by being able to use a gun instead of a spear or knife. You need to use just your own senses and knowledge (plus hard work) to harvest the deer you take. You should not be relying on any electronic aids such as deer finders, radios or trail cameras. Just your eyes and ears, especially your nose - and your strong legs and back - which I wish mine were at the moment! Still I have had nearly seventy quite good years, and I imagine the neurologist will be able to tweak my back a bit so I can have a few more years wandering around the bush. I must ring him this morning.

27/06/2017: Small is Beautiful: Tiny Containers: The search for small receptacles to stow various necessities is ongoing. My friend Meg loaned me these lovely aluminium ‘tins’ to evaluate. She uses them for some of her tiny art works such as her fabulous ear-rings & etc. The smallest one here is perhaps a 10 ml model (and weighs less than 2 grams). There is a 5 ml model which no doubt weighs even less, probably not much more than 1 gram. Either of these would be very good for small quantities of cream such as heel balm, hand cream, sunblock, etc – or for fish hooks, swivels, sinkers, etc. You can find them for sale on eBay if you do a search such as ‘5 ml cosmetic containers’ priced from probably about 50 cents each.

I usually carry about four similar small Coghlans plastic containers which weigh 6 grams each, so I have a saving of 8 grams (or half an ounce) in switching to these ones. Every little bit helps.

The three pictured Sizes are: 1. 3.7 wide x 1.6 = 17 ml, 2. 5 x 1.8 = 35ml, 3. 7.1 x3.65 = 150 ml. They weigh 2, 5 and 13 grams respectively. Various sizes are available apart from those shown above: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 50, 100, 150, 250 etc. There may even be one big enough to use as a cook pot!

Of course they look better with Meg’s hand-made ear-rings in them:

I have tried using drinking straws as containers (as here: & - an even better use!) but have not found them very satisfactory, especially if you need to reseal them. They probably do suit for one-offs such as single doses of iodine.

‘Micro dropper bottles’ such as eye drops come in are handy for all sorts of things – a small quantity of ‘wilderness wash’ type soap for example. You will find plenty available for sale from about 3 ml up to say 20 ml if you search. They weigh from about 3 grams.

One of these vials is ideal for your sewing needle. You can wind some thread around them. They weigh about 2 grams. I am still searching for lighter - meanwhile my needle lives in my fishing hand line bottle. They have many other useful containers – as well as other neat stuff!

If you wear glasses (as I do), you could slip a needle into your eyeglass repair kit:

PS: These are the best needles: And this is the most useful thread (just last weekend I affected a repair on my daypack somewhere in the Gippsland forest with some).  If you wind some onto a small plastic (medicine) bottle you will have a handy ultralight (fly) fishing kit: Of course you always need a blade too. It doesn’t get much better than this:

See Meg: For fancy ear-rings and other beaut stuff: &

26/06/2017: Fire from a Can of Coke and a Chocolate Bar: This is just about my favourite fire starting tip: It is surprising the out of the way places you can find a humble aluminium can and beleive it or not, you can polish the bottom brightly enough that it will focus the sun’s rays hot enough to ignite combustible material. Full instructions here (and many other interesting things):

26/06/2017: How to Get Offended by Anything:


26/06/2017: This is happening in Melbourne (and now Gippsland):  And this is how to do something about ti:  The right of licensed law abiding citizens to carry forearms for their own protection should ever have been removed. In the century since it was attacks on the person have gone up over 1,000%. Time to bring back the right of concealed carry.


26/06/2017: The ‘average’ man’s shoe size has increased (since 1970) from Size 8 (me) to size 10. I make THAT 25%. When truly alarming changes (eg of the climate or environmental ‘toxicity & etc kind) are measured in picograms and such, such a profound change in only a generation should start such enormous panic that we should ALL be running away (presumably 25% faster, now). But really, what CAN have prompted such a profound alteration (and WHERE will it end?) We look set pretty soon to be very like ducks. At least many swimming records will continue to be broken. I note that an excess of human growth hormone will cause this sort of change in an individual – but if that’s the cause, where IS this hormone coming from? Growth promoters in poultry perhaps? I thought they had been banned. Anyway, something else to worry about!

26/06/2017: Why Government Always fails on Welfare:Singapore’s philosophy on welfare follows three basic principles: each generation should pay its own way, each family should pay its own way, and each individual should pay his or her own way.   These aren’t just guidelines.  The legislators codified the importance of family reliance by enabling seniors to file litigation against their children if they refuse to support them. In addition to heavy social pressures, the state also requires compulsory savings for retirement, housing, and other items deemed social necessities.  By requiring employers and employees to designate money for individual “rainy day funds” the government ensures that citizens have money when in need while simultaneously avoiding onerous taxes and bureaucracy that accompany the American and European models…The wealthiest societies are not those which provide their citizens with cradle to grave care; it’s actually the complete opposite! The freer the society the easier it is for individuals to act and create wealth which in turn raises the standard of living. If allowed to thrive, market forces will create the greatest outcome to workers, companies, and those in need. If the government is serious about helping the disadvantaged it should stop with the various welfare schemes, which inevitably fail, and get out of the way of the real engines of wealth creation. Neither the federal government nor any local authorities have the means to truly address poverty. Government fails; freedom works.


24/06/2017: #illridewithyou friendship bollards:


24/06/2017: James Russell Lowell (1819-1891):
And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, grasping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there is never a leaf or a blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o'errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest...


24/06/2017: Equality: Even JC admitted it, ‘for the poor ye always have with you, but ye shall not always have me’. We will never have an equal society. People are not born equal and will not stay that way even if they are. Neither is it the Government’s or anyone else’s job to make it so. Some societal effort towards an ‘equality of opportunity’; ‘equality before the law;’ Yes. But transformations such as Harrison Bergeron are just as absurdist as Vonnegut elucidates ( …It’s important to keep in mind the distinction between inequality and poverty. To confuse the two (as is common today) risks addressing the wrong malady. Just as we do not blame a cancer victim’s suffering on an unequal distribution of good health - that is, just as we recognize that a cancer victim’s illness is not caused by the good health of others and cannot be cured by making healthy people less healthy - we should recognize that a poor person’s poverty is not caused by the prosperity of others and cannot be cured by making wealthy people less wealthy.’…/why-is-this-distinction-so-difficult… &: ‘I recently read that there are only 1 million Americans with net worth of $5-25 million, and only 142,000 Americans with over $25 million in net worth. There are so many millionaires in NYC, you would think it's normal and end up with a distorted view of life. All inequality statistics could be solved by confiscating all of these wealthy assets. However, it would not even put a dent in American's debt to China. Another problem is that those people would go out and do it again, so best just to take their money and houses and stuff and then kill them, and kill their kids too just to be on the safe side. Kill the kulaks. Maybe better just to confiscate the wealth of old people who lack the energy to make money again. Hey - there's a policy to campaign on.’…/25934-Eat-the-rich.h…


24/06/2017: The Green and the Black: Many Australians (maybe even the majority?) have some Irish ancestry. For example I am 3/8ths Irish (willy nilly) having three Great-Grandparents originating from the ‘emerald isle’. Even 3/8ths Irish ancestry is not enough to claim Irish nationality, nor is my ½ English or 1/8th French the basis for any claim. Yet one can claim ‘Aboriginality’ on the basis of 1/32 (or less)! I never knew any of my great grandparents, so I can’t properly say I have any allegiance to them, (indeed even after much research I still know little about them) and have only been able to work out the names of 17/32 Great Great Great Grandparents let alone their nationalities, so clearly some of them could have been ‘Aboriginal’ – or anything else, but probably not extra-terrestrial, much as you may think otherwise! This is despite extensive research over many years, quite expensive document searches and the fact that my European ancestors came from countries at least where records have generally been kept for a long while (though the Irish destroyed a lot of their records early in the C20th!) To claim ‘membership’ or ‘belonging’ on such slender evidence (as 1/32) is just utterly absurd – and clearly racist in itself. Very many ‘Aborigines’ (perhaps the majority) also have Irish ancestry. Many would have more than 1/32 Irish, indeed probably more often than not more Irish than ‘Aboriginal’ ancestry, yet we are enjoined to accept their quite racist claim to be ‘Aboriginal’ without demur – indeed to question it (as I do here) is no doubt actionable as offending against some one of our latest ‘Big Brother’ laws. I would hardly cause any offence at all for referring to ‘aboriginals’ of Irish ancestry (or anyone else) as ‘damned paddies’, but imagine if I uttered a similar expletive about their assumed ‘aboriginality’! Like me, they can neither claim nor benefit from their Irish ancestry even if they might wish to celebrate it sometimes with hearty draughts of green beer – as we all do whether we have any or not! It is simply long past time such ‘racial identification’ stopped permanently. We are all simply human beings and citizens of Australia. We should be expected to carry out all our duties as equal citizens (eg respect the police, obey the law, work, pay bills and taxes, be as good as our word…) and to only call on our nation’s help on an equal basis according to our needs. Nothing more. Nothing less.


23/06/2017: Sure, more Gonski cash will solve this, while a big stick would not:


23/06/2017: Hard to decide whether this is a tragedy or not. Cairns man Feared dead After Attempting to have Sex with a Crocodile:


23/06/2017: Is There Such a Thing as ‘The Truth’? An Excellent Explanation:

22/06/2017: Adventures in Stoving: I really liked the title of this guy's website, apart from the interesting information it contains. Two selections: the world's smallest, lightest gas stove, and how to refill hiking gas canisters:

World’s Lightest Gas Stove – 25 grams: You can find this little guy available in a variety of places under different pseudonyms. I don't know whether they are all the same. it has had mixed reviews. Folks who haven't stressed it out too much seem satisfied it will do the job.

Refilling gas canisters:

The gadget which will do this is probably illegal in Australia (what isn't?), but would probably work, and save you money. Howevr, LPG is highly explosive, and gas canister stoves have other drawbacks, so maybe proceed with caution:

For most trips the weight of teh emty gas canister, (and not knowing how much fuel it has left) precludes using them at all. Esbit is the most weight efficient system (and I have pointed out a way to simmer with it here: ). My personal choice is meths (aka alcohol stoves). If you are only boiling then Minibull's 'Elite' stove is impossible to beat. Mine weighs <7 grams ( ). Otherwise you can try the 'Supercat stove ( ). The advantage of meths is that you can calculate (before you leave exactly how much fuel you will need to cook all the things you are taking and only take that amount of fuel (I usually carry it in a small platypus bottle).

Minibull Elite Stove

 Supercat Stove

Also worth considering is a wood fuelled stove. I have both the Bushbuddy and the Suluk (as you will see here and here I also have a Caldera Cone:

You could try making my Egg-Ring Stove it only weighs 7 grams and makes a stable emergency stove in case you ever run out of fuel (or your jet blocks up if you are using a canister stove).

Bushbuddy Stove:

Caldera Cone:

Suluk Stove:

Egg Ring Stove:

22/06/2017: DIY Glasses. You don’t even need an eye test!


22/06/2017: One response woth considering to the spate of Islamist attacks: Don’t be a victim - 100 Deadly Skills - An Evening with Navy SEAL Clint Emerson:


21/06/2017: World's tallest tree: who would have believed that this 154 metre mountain ash felled at Healesville in 1872 was 40 metres taller than the largest Californian redwood ever recorded:


21/06/2017: The Red Pill (2016): This is just about the best documentary we have watched in a long while. It follows the journey of a feminist who decides to investigate the ‘Men’s Rights’ movement and who is transformed by the experience into a supporter of many of its ideas. Cassie Jaye deserves enormous credit for her courage, intellectual rigour and honesty in making and screening this documentary (which has been vociferously banned by ‘activists’ all over Australia). Yes, there were issue of female inequality in the past which needed addressing (and we did! Men and women alike.) There were also more general issues of inequality (such as universal franchise) which we also addressed. Today, the pendulum has swung too far and there are now gross inequalities which unfairly affect men which need to be addressed. As one interviewee put it, ‘The patriarchy isn’t the problem and feminism isn’t the answer.’


21/06/2017: An Australian who rises to the position of Cardinal would normally be celebrated and admired. George Pell’s other achievements also single him out for adulation rather than condemnation. Yet this dreadful litany of false, scurrilous and vile accusations continues. I do not condone those who sexually abuse children, Quite the contrary. I think it is dreadful that someone who repeatedly raped children twenty years ago can receive a lesser sentence than someone who raped a grown woman last year. This does not seem to me to be justice. I would have thought that the offences are so disproportionate that the former could not have deserved less than the most hideous death. On the other hand, Cardinal Pell has been instrumental throughout in identifying, eliminating  and punishing those in his church who abused children in the past or at any time, yet he is singled out by the hate media as an evil monster. I just don’t get it:


20/06/2017: Seems like it, Mark Latham: Australia is full; immigration is a Ponzi scheme we cannot afford. It needs to be cut. Now. Both Lab/Lib are as bad as each other on this issue, as with so many others:

20/06/2017: Who were the ‘First Nations’? & (even more mind boggling)

20/06/2017: Weather Lore: An infallible weather forecast, if a change of weather is coming up:

'Wind then rain. No pain.

Rain then wind, stay in!'


In plain words this says that when rain comes first without wind then expect a long period of bad weather with high winds and heavy rain. But when wind comes first and is followed immediately by rain, then fine weather will follow at short notice.

Many people are trapped by bad weather in the bush every year, and if they but knew of this simple weather sign they could be prepared, and get out to a position of safety before really bad weather sets in.

Another infallible weather signal is the appearance of cumulus nimbus cloud, a foreteller of thunderstorms. While a greenish light in the sky preceding a thunderstorm is an almost certain sign of heavy hail. Halos (or circles) around the sun or moon also almost invariably mean rain is on its way.

Red sky at night, shepherd's delight.

Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning.

A red sky - in the morning or evening, is a result of high pressure air in the atmosphere trapping particles of dust or soot. Air molecules scatter the shorter blue wavelengths of sunlight, but particles of dust, soot and other aerosols scatter the longer red wavelength of sunlight in a process called Rayleigh scattering. At sunrise and sunset, the sun is lower in the sky causing the sunlight to travel through more of the atmosphere so scattering more light.This effect is further enhanced when there are at least some high level clouds to reflect this light back to the ground.

When weather systems predominantly move from west to east. A red sky at night indicates that the high pressure air (and better weather) is westwards. In the morning the light is eastwards, and so a red sky then indicates the high pressure (and better weather) has already passed, and an area of low pressure is following behind.

Clouds And Their Reading

Cirrus: This is the "mare's tail" sky of the landsman, shows as long threads or wisps of cloud. This is the highest of all cloud formations, and is a sign of a "high" barometric pressure, which means fine weather.

Cirro Stratus, and Cirro Cumulus: In these clouds the former is long wispy, cloud, and in the latter rounded small cloud the typical "mackerel" sky. Both are indicators of a high barometric pressure, and fine weather.

Cumulus and Cumulus Nimbus: Cumulus is the high white piled-up masses of cloud seen in summer. When streaked with horizontal bands it is Cumulus Nimbus, or thunder cloud, a sign of coming storms, which may be of short duration, or may indicate a change in the weather generally.

Nimbus: This is the grey ragged cloud which uniformly covers the sky. It is the true rain cloud, and an indication of low barometric pressure and rainy weather.

Storm Scud: This is formless masses of very low cloud driven fast before the wind. It is a sign of very low barometric pressure, and continuing bad weather.

A light-weight radio (such as this: might be a good way to keep up with the weather forecast as well as providing other entertainment. I have not been able to find a better than this one at 91 grams.

Tip: When heading up the bush it is particularly important to check the wind forecast. You need to know which way the prevailing wind is going to be coming from (You can't just rely on the observation that it 'always' comes from the West - no matter that this is true most of the time). A sudden change to0 the east will mean your tent is pitched the wrong way around. This is particularly important if the wind change is going to occur in the middle of the night in which case you need to pitch it so that it suits both wind directions - if possible. (it usually is!)

19/06/2017: Working on my next ultralight project. This time it is a bathtub goundsheet which doubles as a chair. In Tyvek this will weigh around 120 grams. I am hopeful I can duplicate it in a lighter material at around 80 grams. Add this to my poncho tent at 160 grams and you have a wonderful camping combo!


19/06/2017: Anderson’s Inlet: What a beautiful shallow bird-filled inlet where the splendid Tarwin River meets the Southern Ocean (Sth Gippsland Victoria). Having already walked from San Remo or Rye (Phillip Island) along the can now walk from Inverloch along the shoreline, cross Screw Creek (on a bridge) then continue on, sometimes on the shoreline, sometimes on the levee bank (depending on the tide). You may get your feet wet a couple of times as you cross small creeks (Pound Creek, Cheery Tree, etc – fresh preferably filtered water for your solitary camp) but you can walk out eventually at the bridge at Tarwin Lower. NB: The trip is better at low(ish) tide. Then you can walk through the wonderful mangroves!

Maher's Landing:

You will see more birds than you thought was possible anywhere in Victoria – and you will likely see a hog deer too, though you may not hunt it!. Lots of koalas amid the sugar gums close to shore. (These are so named because the gum is sweet and edible). Cross the bridge across the Tarwin, a quick walk along the river bank past the shops, supermarket, hotel etc and you are then on a path that becomes a cycle track after the jetty which you follow to Lees Rd, Venus Bay. Walk along Lees Rd a couple of kms to Fishermans Rd where there is a boat ramp and you can once again walk along the shore of the inlet, eventually walking right around Point Smythe and continuing on along the beach back to Venus Bay No1 Beach where you can come inland again for supplies at the local shops if you want – or you can continue on along the coast all the way to Darby River on Wilsons Promontory, days away. Just the beginning of the wonderful

Straw Necked Ibis hunt the shallows

There are more bait worms and bivalves in these mud flats than you can imagine!

The inlet is also a great fishing spot. Key species are Australian salmon and garfish.

Tarwin Lower Jetty:

Fishermans Rd Boat ramp Venus Bay:

See Also:

19/06/2017: 2053: Who would have guessed there had been this many atomic bombs detonated (not that I am much in favour of them) and that there are still several billion healthy people on Earth. Mind you, they are very pretty: & 

19/06/2017: Turnbull is toast! Still 47:53. Pauline up 2%:

18/06/2017: Lighter, Brighter, Better: Three great new Maratac flashlights:

Anodized Aluminium Tactical Personal Flood TPF AAA Light by Maratac 160 lumens - US$40.95 (June 2017).

A 14-15 gram head torch which produces 160 lumens will be hard to beat!

'The Maratac™ AAA Stainless Steel flashlight was so popular, we had it made in a right angle varient. The same great light in a right angle form factor, featuring a 105 degree beam of projected light for increased field of use and a glow in the dark reflector. Checkout this AAA powerhouse now with many new upgrades:

The reflector glows after the light turns off so it's easy to find in the night.


  • Length: 2.65"
  • Diameter: .57"
  • Weight 14 Grams / .35 Ounces without battery ( Incredibly lightweight ) 
  • Stainless Steel Pocket Clip ( Easy to clip onto a hat, MOLLE gear or shirt pocket )
  • Glow In the Dark Built In reflector ( Easy to find in the dark )
  • LED Type: Cree G2 Emitter ( High Output ) with a life span up to 50,000 hours.
  • Flashlight body is made of Aircraft Grade Aluminum 
  • Stainless Steel ring around the dome lens for added durability
  • The dome lens has been treated with an AR (Anti-Reflective) coating.
  • Proprietary circuit design features reverse polarity protection and runs off of one AAA battery that provides 3 levels of brightness ( Low /Medium / High).

Using a single Duracell AAA battery we got the following results:

  • Low Mode, 5 lumen output for up to 60 Hours ( Diffused Light )
  • Medium Mode, 48 lumen output for up to 4 Hours
  • High Mode, 160 lumen output for up to 75 Minutes'

Inspection : AAAx2 Extreme - Tactical Light by Maratac 385 lumens - US$ 42.50 June 2917)

'The Maratac Inspection AAAx2 Extreme LED flashlight is made to be both tactical and practical. The light is straightforward to use and has friendly ergonomics. The Maratac AAAx2 Extreme features an advance Cree XP-G2(R5) LED for greater brightness and efficiency.

  •  Medium 45 Lumens / Low 5 lumens / High 385 lumens  mode brightness control (Simple 3 mode switching)
  • Operation:
    • Press and click the back thumb switch to turn on the light into Medium mode. Lightly press again for Low mode and once more for High. Press and click anytime to turn the light off.


  • 22.8 grams or .8 oz (without battery)
  • 5.0" O.A.L. x .58" inch width
  • Type 3 Military Grade Anodizing ( Matte Finish )
  • Utilizes 2 Standard AA Batteries ( 1.2-1.7 Volts each )
  • Standard Modes ( Pressing Tail Cap Through Modes )


    • Medium ( 6 Hours )
    • Low ( 90 hours )
    • High ( 1.65 hours )'

Anodized Aluminum AAA Flashlight by Maratac™ Rev 4 now 145 lumens - US$41.50

'Worlds first production LED AL flashlight...the smallest, brightest, AAA flashlight? We think so!

Check out this AAA powerhouse.

After thousands of Request ( Medium / Low / High )


  • Premier Series
  • Glow in the dark Diffuser ( New for Rev 4 )
  • Glow in the Dark front o-ring around reflector ( New for Rev 4 )
  • Each light is hand finished.
  • Length: 2.6" ( Smaller than Rev 1 )
  • Diameter: .5"
  • Weight with battery is 37.3 grams ( 28.1 grams without battery )
  • LED Type: Cree XP-G2 S4 with a life span up to 50,000 hours. ( Newest & Brightest Emitter REV 4 )
  • with a life span up to 50,000 hours. ( Newest & Brightest Emitter )
  • The New Orange Peel Reflector is aluminum alloy.
  • Flashlight body is machined of Aircraft Grade Aluminum
  • The lens has been treated with an AR (anti-reflective) coating.
  • Its proprietary circuit design features reverse polarity protection and runs off of one AAA battery that provides
  • Now with 3 levels of brightness ( Medium / Low / High ).
  • Comes with clip & o-rings
  • Clip installed from factory to preserve finish
  • New Stronger Clip 

Using a single Duracell AAA battery we got the following results:

  • Medium mode, 40 lumens output for up to 7 hours
  • Low mode, 1.5 lumens output for up to 55 hours
  • High mode, 145 lumens output for up to 70 minutes
  • ( Rev 1 model was 80 Lumens and 48 minutes) ( Rev 2 model was 115 Lumens and 60 minutes)'

Of course each of them can easily be made into a head torch with two o rings, a bit of cord and a micro cord lock:

See Also:

18/06/2017: It just keeps getting better and better:


18/06/2017: If you believe this, you will believe anything: PS: I notice she seems to have found a slightly higher calorie air than he has!

18/06/2017: Well said, Harry:


17/06/2017: With this App and Zenni, the optometrist is dead. Other professions may quickly follow suit. I am all for abolishing the lawyers first: &


17/06/2017: Poor Tweetie! Forget about feral cats. Let’s ban windows:


17/06/2017: If we all became vegetarians would there be more food? No! There would be less:




16/06/2017: Are Alexander and Elizabeth the best ever children’s names? Can you think of any other names which have so many interesting variants, eg, Al, Alex, Lex, Lexy, Xander, Sandy, Andy? Why burden your child with a name which has none, or which (worst still) is mis-spelled? I know several people who have had to change their names by deed poll because their parents could not spell. How embarrassing! There are also for too many ‘h’s and ‘y’s creeping into spelling nomenclature!


16/06/2017: Malcolm has once again shown his appalling judgement and unsuitability to be PM by lampooning the US President. Malcolm must go! Now!


16/06/2017: The problem with young voters seems to be they do not know yet that the Left and Greens are pure evil. Tim Blair suggests some interesting home remedies:

15/06/2017: NZ Moose: Ken & Marg Tustin have been hunting these beasts in Fiordland's forests since the 1970s. The creatures are enormously elusive. Of course there are lots of browse, prints, droppings but so far they have managed to come up with a single cast antler, two positive DNA samples and a couple of (unfortunately) poor quality photos of them. Not much return for a lifetime of hard work, but an enormous, 'Well Done Ken & Marg!' for such a Herculean effort. They must have spent literally years of their lives living in these remote sodden forests!

For example, when I talked to them in Te Anau in April 2017, Ken had just come back from a six week stint in Herrick Creek, Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound. Like me, Ken is nearly 70! No-one who has never ventured into these wet, cold, dense, dangerous forests (as I have - though much more briefly) has any idea of the effort involved. They could be literally swarming with moose yet it would be unlikely you would ever find one.

Here is a link to an interesting article about them, and the Tustin's quest: (You can read it for free once at least, but you cannot copy and paste any of it).

I suspect the moose are quite widespread throughout Fiordland National Park. I too have found moose sign in very widely separate areas, but they are present at very low rates per square kilometre (almost certainly well less than one) mainly due to the absence of really suitable feed. Nonetheless, it is a huge (largely unexplored, and unexplorable) area, so that there could still even be more than a thousand of them (unlikely), yet no-one would ever see them!

Books by Ken Tustin: 'A Wild Moose Chas'e & 'A Nearly Complete History of the Moose in New Zealand'. Films: 'A Wild Moose Chase and 'New Zealand's Fiordland Moose': All highly recommended.

Other books about Fiordland Moose: Ken Tinsley 'Call of the Moose'. Max Curtis 'Around the River's Bend' - this last tells the story of the last successful moose hunt in NZ in the early 1950s. If you are going to become a NZ moose hunter, I suggest you devour all the above material!

This is Jim Mackintosh beside a female moose he shot at Herrick Creek in 1951. Other moose were shot and photographed in the area in 1952, the last certain sightings. Only about a dozen moose have ever been taken in NZ, three of them by the 'legendary' Eddie Herrick who spent nearly ten years of his life in toto hunting them!

PS:  The type of river flat forest Jim has shot this moose in is quite rare in Fiordland. There is some (for example) across Supper Cove from the hut, at the mouth of the Seaforth River and then along the river to the Henry Burn and here and there all the way up to the Kintail, but it was mostly all well eaten out by moose a long time ago. All the same you can see old broken branches about 8-9' up where they have been, and they may still use such patches for shelter in dreadful weather. I have stalked through some of it many times. Sometimes you even find a recent print. Considering that it rains on average over 25mm (1") per day in Fiordland, a print does not last long!

Mostly you would be looking for them in much worse terrain than this, up the steep valleys and along the incredibly precipitous forested sides. PS: Even in this sort of country you would have to be very watchful for the dangers of morasses! PPS: 'Normally' when moose hunting you are looking for their 'signature' branch breaking at that 8-9' height, but you should also make yourself aware of their 'browse line' at that height - where they have eaten practically every leaf they can eat of their favourite food plants. This is far more ubiquitous, but perhaps less obvious.

PPS: AS I say in the first link below, I believe I had a close encounter with a moose back in April 2017 in the upper Hauroko Burn, yet there was very little available moose browse in the Hauroko, (but plentiful old moose sign), whereas coming down the slope from Lake Roe to Loch Marie for example there were lots of 'moose plants', but much less moose sign. Moose are where you find them!

See also:

15/06/2017: Shoelace Reinvented: I went to this site looking for a new pair of shoes. The Men's Topo Terradventure has been recommended to me as a wide-fit ultralight shoe with superior grip and wear characteristics weighing 294 grams. I am keen to try out a pair, but I need to see whether they fit first. However I was struck by the offer on the site of a new, superior lacing system. Also note they sell Aloksak waterproof bags:

'The Terraventure pushes the limits of lightweight performance and rugged durability. This platform features an aggressive lug design providing better traction and mid-foot stability. A flexible ESS forefoot rock plate protects the foot from stone-bruising while the ghillie lacing system insures a secure midfoot fit.



The Terraventure runs half a size small, so we recommend sizing up half a size from your current running shoe fit. ~15mm of room around the outside of the toebox is a perfect fit, allowing your foot to splay naturally. A full size chart is available below.



  • // 6 mm rubber outsole
  • // 14 mm (heel) // 11 mm (ball) midsole
  • // 5 mm footbed
  • // Total stack height 25 mm x 22 mm (3 mm drop)
  • // Weight: 294g. (size 9)

Slacklaces are flat elastic shoelaces that you truly have to try to believe. You will feel the difference with your very first step. Slacklaces are perfectly designed to eliminate any tight spots, banding, and pressure points that can improve circulation, comfort and performance . They are flat, wide, very light and have the perfect combination of stretch and stability. SLACKLACES are so simple to use and are great for triathletes, kids, elderly and even more useful for individuals with disabilities. SLACKLACES are designed with the ability to change with the constantly changing contours of your feet and they look as good as they feel! Slacklaces come in a variety of bright colors, and lengths to fit every shoe and every style!

Surelace System: A Better Fit that You Never Have to Tie Again Yankz! Sure Lace System is the most comfortable and innovative lacing system available.
The unique design is ideal for walking, running, hiking, gym class, biking and other athletic activities.

Expandable cords provide an unsurpassed level of fit and comfort. No more tying, retying, double knots or frazzled dirty laces. Slip on your shoe with Yankz!

Many important factors make the Yankz! Sure Lace distinct:

15/06/2017: Londonistan burns: I know this one may not be a terrorist ‘incident’ (as its mayor describes it), but the next one and the next…will be. Folks will have learned how to ignite high rise apartment buildings. Heaven know where we will house the residents when we have to abandon them, or who will pay the compensation to their owners & etc. Clearly the market value of apartments everywhere will crash.


15/06/2017: When is Killed by a Moslem Terrorist Week? Unfortunately, every week! Bravo, Peter Smith:


15/06/2017: On a happier note, Malcolm must go:


15/06/2017: As Australia goes down the gurgler, (eg handing illegal immigrants vast wealth) New Zealand flashes past us technologically at least:


15/06/2017: Those who think we will still be shoveling coal in 100 years will be dismayed that Steve Bramwell of Uni College London has made and stored magnetic monopoles. There exist vast forces which we cannot as yet either detect or control, but we will...

14/06/2017: Drop Bear: Found this poor little fellow dead in the paddock this morning. Looks to be a victim of the dread Chlamydia (They also call it, 'Wet Bum') which is so prevalent amongst them, though s/he had also been fighting and had a number of nasty scratches - unsurprising when you see the size of their claws. I had noticed it roaming from blue gum  to blue gum just the other day but had taken no notice as they are quite prevalent here, though not in epidemic proportions yet as they are in so many places, poor things. It is horrific to see them starving to death en masse, as they are/were eg at Cape Otway last time we were there in 2013.

Rear claw - quite a thumb:

Front claw - imagine being slashed by that. Those claws are over an inch (2.5cm) long!:

If you catch one that is in distress (eg after being hit by a car) it is quite difficult to handle them (you need a thick blanket or coat which you have no further use for!) as they will attach themselves firmly to your arm, those claws penetrating quite clear through your biceps etc, so that very soon you will be sorry you had picked it up. I saw a man in this state one day at Tarwin Lower one Sunday when we were out fox hunting along the Inverloch Rd - you could do that sort of thing then. We used even to hunt foxes out of the graves in the local cemetery (My hunting mate, the late Dick Davies was chairman of the Cemetery Trust). Some graves were quite prolific. I wondered whether richer people attracted a better class of fox! The local Leongatha vet had to euthenise the bear to get it off the poor chap it was attached to! Of course being such dreadful venal types as fox hunters (as we were) we thought the whole incident quite funny - except for the koala!

I do prefer seeing them alive, like this one, though he has pretty much eaten out his tree too, as you can see. Apparently once you start to see them, they are already too numerous for the good of the forest, like the little guy above. It was nearly thirty years before anyone first saw one after the First Fleet!

Curiously the foxes had not touched him. They must not taste anywhere near as good as sheep. A dead sheep would be scattered all over the paddock by the next day! This guy had been there about three days. He was a bit too far gone for me to try! I am not 'Bear' Grylls! No doubt so named because he usually eats them!

Interestingly enough, we used to skin all the foxes we shot, (we usually had a few dozen after a day's hunt - the proceeds paid for everyone's family's Xmas presents) and throw their skun corpses into the blackberry patches. Nothing ever ate a fox. I am certainly never going to start if even crows eschew them. They are vilely malodourous - as are koalas actually!

Apparently long ago there was a marsupial lion very much larger than these little guys. Thylacoleo Carnifex ( & Some cryptozoolgical types (or not so logical types) avow that these critters were arboreal (indeed that they still exist!) and that there is some danger of them dropping from trees and devouring you. I have spent a lot of time under trees and it has not happened to me yet. Neither is irt stopping me from heading 'up the bush' this week - though some much needed fencing is, Alas!

14/06/2017: What a hoot: The conceptual penis as a social construct:


14/06/2017: Balls to Mr Finkelstein: We could replace all our coal fired power stations with brand new super-critical ones (as the rest of the world is doing) at a fraction of the cost of these mad green schemes and have electricity production at under 4 cents per kilowatt hour practically forever (we have hundreds of years of brown coal here in Victoria - we have used less than 2% of the reserve!): The figures just don’t add up:


14/06/2017: Comey was a proven liar anyway, but he is also a criminal and should receive the appropriate criminal sanctions instead of being lionized by the Left:


13/06/2017: There is just ‘one’ thing wrong with all this ‘global warming’ stuff; well 58 actually:


13/06/2017: We need more H.L.Menckens today: Doesn’t this remind you of professional leftist agitators and other assorted worryworts who yet abound: ‘I hope no one will be upset and alarmed by the fact that various bishops, college presidents, Rotary lecturers and other such professional damned fools are breaking into print with high-falutin discussions of the alleged wave of student suicides. Such men, it must be manifest, seldom deal with realities. Their whole lives are devoted to inventing bugaboos, and then laying them. Like the news editors, they will tire of this bogus wave after a while, and go yelling after some other phantasm. Meanwhile, the world will go staggering on. Their notions are never to be taken seriously. Their one visible function on earth is to stand as living proofs that education is by no means synonymous with intelligence.


13/06/2017: Mufti thinks jihad is funny: ‘Our’ Grand Mufti, a man who refuses to learn English and who would not be granted citizenship under the ‘new’ rules can joke about ‘jihad’ and ‘terrorism’ while all about him Rome burns. Or is at least re-inforced with large concrete blocks! Away with this vile creed:


13/06/2017: ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world’ (Yeats, ‘Second Coming’) The lunacy is all just happening too quickly for me to even comment on. This week alone: The Fink Finkelstein and more mad schemes to make us all poorer and ‘save the planet’. What Tosh! Huge concrete blocks appearing everywhere to ‘save us from terrorism’. Whilst young Somalis who smash and rob jewellery stores are given no sentence. The Mufti jokes about terrorism. There is to be a new gaol for terrorists which the ABC reports is for IRA offenders! The Left get all the Queens Birthday honours when they have done nothing deserving at all – earning at best more custard tarts in their faces! I despair…At least you can read my hiking blog to return a little sanity to your lives:

13/06/2017: A Walk on the Wild Side: You can set off from Rye or San Remo (Phillip Island, Gippsland Victoria - public transport available) and walk all the way along the beach to Screw Creek, Inverloch. This comprises the beginning of the magical which will be a hiking holiday that takes a couple of months to complete exploring many of Victoria's scenic wonders.The section we were looking at yesterday afternoon after closing the shop ( was at Harmers Haven near Wonthaggi. Take a left hand turn near the end of the main street into Cameron Street and follow it past Harmer's Haven to a car-park and the beginning of this enchanting beach exploration walk Just a few steps along the path you come to this beautiful bridge across the lagoon:

Of course I was lucky enough to be accompanied by this beautiful lady (as I have been for 47 wonderful years) and her astonishing dog:

Here is that outstanding dog, Spot again. How he loves the beach!

A blue crane was busy fishing in the lagoon:

A pair of delightful sandpipers let us get very close to them:

As did this red-billed shearwater:

Even on a holiday weekend the deserted beach stretched on and on towards Cape Paterson (shop/s, hotel, etc) and Inverloch (even more amenities)

Looking back into the sunset towards Kilcunda:

Della managed to take an even better photograph:

And again:

So many enchanting skerries:

And other beauties bathed in the golden light of dusk:

And here is another beauty - as my mother used to say, 'A frog's pretty in a cat's eye'!

Twilight combs the skerries:

The last blush of day to the east:

After Screw Creek you need to get across or around Andersons Inlet (I am working on that - I hunted foxes ) whence you can walk all the way along Venus Bay Beach to Cape Liptrap. It is possible to climb around the lighthouse and descend again on the other side whence you can walk along to Bear Gully (a truly magical camping spot), Walkerville South, Walkerville, Sandy Point, Yanakie, Wilsons Prom...and so on and on - to Eden, Mt Kosciusko, then back along the Alps to Lilydale!

12/06/2017: Follow Your Nose: I have failed to follow my own advice on this one more than once to my regret as you can read in my account of my recent Dusky walk below. Trust your nose, Somewhere upwind possibly just in sight is something important you need to pay attention to. For example, you may wonder how ancient mariners unerringly managed to find remote islands when a failure to do so might have meant all would perish. At sea there is little scent. The great variety of scents comes instead from land animals and flowering plants whose varied odours drift on the wind detectable many kilometres downwind. Our mariners, knowing from their pennants the direction of the wind, and using their nose could tack back and forth heading infallibly for the source of the endless wonder that assailed their noses.

Of course at sea there are other clues to indicate the direction of the land. The wind and tides drive floating objects outwards in a pre-determined direction which you can follow back. Leaves, grass, flowers, spiders etc are a giveaway. The story of Noah and his dove is a charming metaphor (and of course it is unlikely a dove would bring back a twig unless it was nesting - but pigeons and doves do, so who knows?), but clearly the presence of a floating twig (or one in a bird's maw) certainly does indicate the proximity of land. Again, clouds build up against islands. The Maori did not call NZ 'The Land of the Long White Cloud' for no reason. Islands also disturb the movement of waves and currents. This disturbance can be detected by the observant mariner.

Similarly, in the desert there are few scents - again because of the scarcity of life. Where there is life in profusion is near water sources in such arid wildernesses. The scents from all the life around such oases wafts on the wind and can be detected 10, 20 kilometres away. It is how desert dwellers found them in the first place.

If you are out hunting and you smell an unusual odour (eg your quarry) don't ignore it. Investigate. And get to know the peculiar scents of the animals you hunt. Knowing the musky stench of a stag in rut is a valuable piece of information. Your nose can lead you to many other food sources. The scent of honey is unmistakable. A wild bees' hive is a treasure if you know how to safely rob it. If you do not the scent of the honey (or nectar) in bottle brushes can lead you to a sweet treat particularly in the morning. Ripe fruit, such as lily-pilies wafts out a delectable fragrance that should earn you a feast in some cool valley.

On our afternoon walks around Yinnar and Jeeralang, I am forever saying to Della, 'Smell that fox, wallaby, deer, pig', etc. It has taken her a while to learn to pay attention to her nose. She grew up in the city, and hasn't been a hunter all her life like me, but she is now noticing those most pungent odours at least. Pig and fox scent are very strong. We have seen four sambar deer on our afternoon walks just in the last week. The pig sign is becoming very prevalent. Another season of breeding and I fear they will be invading the local backyards and stealing babies from their prams!

Note: I have a confession (of stupidity) to make. Somewhere during this section between the two upper walk wires on the Hauroko Burn Fiordland NZ (You can imagine it is in the photo above) I encountered quite  a strong 'animal' smell not unlike a goat. I thought to myself at the time, 'Well, it's not a deer'. Then I thought, 'Could it be a plant'. You know how Dogwood in Australasia is so named because it smells somewhat like wet dog. I thought to myself  'I wonder whether the Leather Wood which you encounter just before the tops in NZ (and which is redolent with the musty odour of countless deer) is so called because it smells of leather?' There is a sweet cloying honey-like smell you sometimes encounter in these Fiordland forests I have never been able to identify, nor has anyone else I have spoken to been able to pick it for me. (it is not the flower of the ubiquitous tiny epiphytic orchid). I scanned the forest about. Saw nothing. Thought to myself, 'I do not want to arrive at Lake Roe in the dark' (The hut is hard enough to find), and carried on. Since then, I have bothered to check what a moose smells like. You guessed it. Just like what I was smelling on the Hauroko that day. There was a moose not 200 metres upwind from me, and I walked on. Despite having a tarp and hammock and weeks of food, so that I could have spent days hunting it! And I would have doubtless 'put it up' withing ten minutes! Despite the fact that one of the important reasons I go there is to see a moose. Despite the fact that I had photographed fresh moose barking just back there a little (See: Despite the fact there is a $100,000 reward for a photo of a NZ moose, I walked on! : Lesson: Trust your nose!

11/06/2017: Interesting DIY 3D Printing Project:

10/06/2017: Walking in a Straight Line: You have one leg slightly shorter than the other. Therefore if you are blindfolded you will walk in a circle. Clearly you need some other clue to stop yourself from doing this in the wild. There are a number of ‘tricks’ to learn. I have already mentioned how to use your observations of the ‘lie of the land’ to find your way:

I have mentioned before many times how you should train the tools you were born with (which you can count on having with you, hopefully in a working condition) whereas artificial aids (such as GPS, PLB and etc) can all too easily fail. Using the outstanding features of the landscape as a guide to your location is an obvious and necessary skill to develop.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked by a person with a GPS in their hand where they are (were), to which my reply has always been (simply looking around), ‘Isn’t it obvious?’

As I have mentioned before it is especially important every time you stop for a breather (at least every fifteen minutes let’s say) to spend that time looking behind you so as to memorise the prominent features of the landscape in your return direction.

Of course there are times when the prominent features of the landscape are not visible (or there simply aren’t many). This can happen in flatter terrain (even on plateaus, in heavily wooded areas, in fog or cloud, etc. Then you need to keep s a sequence of smaller features in mind in order to keep to a chosen route (eg I want to continue in a generally North-Easterly direction until I hit the ‘Divide’).

The most common method used to keep to a straight course is to note a particular tree in the correct direction of travel, and head towards this (Below, top left).


When it is reached a new tree is selected, and so on (above top right).

Although this will lead to a straight line between the trees sighted, it can also lead to a wrong course as shown in figure A

Having arrived at the first tree it is possible for the traveler to sight the next tree incorrectly and so gradually proceed to lose your correct direction.

You can avoid this error as shown in figure B. Moving from point 1 you sight tree 2 and head for it. However before reaching it you line up tree 3. Similarly you sight up tree 4 when you is part way between points 2 and 3, and in this way your line is always correct.

This method is good for open forest country, but does not work on featureless plains. There are two systems that have been common eg among the Aborigines for centuries.

In the first method, one person would always go ahead of the others, heading in the direction of travel indicated. No matter how featureless the country might appear to be, there would always be some small feature, perhaps just a particular clump of grass, beyond the leading person, and as soon as he appeared to be veering off course it would become obvious to those following and they would then signal him back to the correct line.

Many ‘primitive’ people (such as those from the eponymous ‘Canary’ Islands for example) had a ‘whistling language’ for use in such long distance communication. The Canary Islanders could communicate thus at a distance of several kilometers - at least from mountain top to mountain top! it is why the small birds of the same name are so called, not because of their song, but because they sounded like the islanders' whistling language. One useful feature of such a system of communication is that it does not scare the ‘game’ which is why it was used by so-called ‘primitive’ people who had to rely on the success of their hunt to live.

It is interesting is it not, that ever since the invention of farming (approx 9,000 years ago) the average human brain has been shrinking. The less intelligent can be feather-bedded by the food surplus, whereas in a hunting culture they would simply have failed to reproduce. As they would have starved to death!

The second method could be used by a lone traveler, and consisted of lighting two small fires which would give off a quantity of smoke for some time. The first would be lit at the camp site and you would set out in the required direction. After a short time, and before there was any chance of having altered direction, you would select a clearing and light another fire.

You could now proceed with confidence, knowing that as long as you kept the two smokes in line then you were going in a straight line. If you had a long way to travel you might light more fires as you went on, so that as the original smoke died down you would be able to continue with the directions maintained by the newer ones. Lots of early Australian explorers observed such lines of fires - then began to implement the strategy themselves.

You should also read:

10/06/2017: You look at the graphic and think, ‘Why did May not win an historic victory’. Just a couple of reasons, ‘When she announced that she would asset strip the houses of the elderly to make them pay for domiciliary care, I asked here whether she was actually trying to lose the election…The reason Labour has done so well is that for once young people turned out to vote. Young people generally don’t bother to vote. They did this time for one reason: they were captivated and energised by Jeremy Corbyn. No matter that Corbyn’s agenda would destroy the country, that he would empower bad people, that he would extinguish freedom. With the collapse of Britain’s education system so that the young know nothing and can’t think for themselves, they were easy prey for a Pied Piper of fantasy politics.’ Melanie Phillips (We saw the same phenomenon with Bernie Sanders). Something seriously needs to be done about the ‘education system’. Probably abolish it. It is doing a rubbish job!


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10/06/2017: Conservatives need to completely end all ‘welfare’ type payments to taxpayers and hand all that money back to them as tax cuts. This way they will get back $10 in tax cuts for every $5 in payments. After that it will be clear to taxpayers that what the socialists always offer is to take money from their pockets and splurge it on someone else – who does not pay tax, indeed who refuses to shift for themselves at all! At present whenever anyone proposes ‘budget savings’ which involve cutting spending, taxpayers who see $5 disappearing from their child care, education , health etc are alarmed because that money is not obviously being returned to them as tax cuts – so they become pawns of the socialist pied pipers.


Answer to a reply: You are missing my point. I am not saying cut out all 'welfare benefits'. I am saying cut out the ones handed back to taxpayers. Just the accounting exercise of doing so must waste a substantial amount of cash. However, in answer to some at least of your other points. I maintain that marriage and the family should form the basis of 'welfare', not the Government. It is because (since 1974) people have been able to treat the Government as their parents, husbands, wives etc - instead of relying on themselves and their support networks, that we have developed a vast disaffected cohort of 'dependent' people. This is not good for them and it is certainly not good for society. People must learn to stand on their own two feet and 'shift' for themselves, no matter how hard that lesson is for them. otherwise society will fail utterly! One of the best things about a 'support network' is that it is a two-way street. You get back as you put in. In the Government model, you can just help yourself to the trough without ever putting in. This is at best very poor moral (and economic) training.

09/06/2017: Ultralight Poncho Tent: This is going to be a 160 gram poncho which is also an excellent single person tent. It doesn't get much better than that. This is my second prototype of this wonderful piece of equipment. I have altered the dimensions slightly and changed the taper so it is long enough to lie out in without touching the sides. It is (usually) open at the front so you can enjoy a warming fire. There is plenty enough overhang so you are going to stay dry in a heavy downpour. Its dimensions are approximately 5' x 8'.

All the sides are catenary cut so it pitches tight and easily, and stands up to any weather. I have added a hood which centres the single pole (which can be a bush stick) and which acts as verandah and vent. There will be a small reinforcing patch inside it which will double as a pocket to take the two guys when not in use. There will be a couple of breast pockets to take the tent stake bag (11 stakes will make it well-nigh impregnable) and a couple of emergency mylar space blankets and a mini bic lighter in case you have no other preparation for your night outdoors.

My prototype is made of Tyvek as usual. I will be replacing the zips with waterproof ones as soon as they arrive. I will be adding another (optional) triangle of silnylon material which will zip in to completely close the front in the event of extreme wet weather - adding about 50 grams to the weight. I will be creating a groundsheet with a bathtub floor which can be modified with an inflatable mat and four short sticks to make a comfy chair from which you can watch your campfire. At a pinch you could shelter two people so there is ample room for one plus all gear and a dog (as you can see)!

The final model may be a couple more weeks in the making, likewise the chair. When I have completed these two projects I will be offering to sell patterns. There will also be an alternative model which has an extra approx 3' x 8' added which will add 75 grams. Though it can still be worn as a poncho it will be big enough for a shelter for two. Its dimensions are approximately 8' x 8'. It can also double as a hammock tarp.

This poncho will also form the floor of either/both of my final models of my Deer Hunter's tent and my 'Honey I Shrank' Tent or for the double model of this tent. If a couple carry one of these each they will have two raincoats plus a tent and a groundsheet for a total weight of 472 grams. Also coming soon!

298 grams in Tyvek, smaller than a shoe or box of tissues. The silnylon model will be about the size of a small bottle of coke.

It may be an ungainly looking poncho but it will keep you and your pack completely dry. Spot thinks it will keep him dry too if he stays close.

This was my first attempt at pitching it before i added the hood. I hastily put it up in the dark the night before. It rained and blew all night but it was taut and sound the following morning.

Side view.

You can see all the ridges stay taut.

Plenty of room to stretch out.

And room for a dog or two!

I will be making this out of 1 oz/yd2 silnylon with a 4,000mm head. It will weigh 160 grams plus 77 grams for the tent stakes, so a total tent and raincoat combo of 237 grams. If I made it out of .35oz/yd2 cuben fibre and used 1 gram pegs for every second one, it would sneak in at 100 grams total weight! To my mind it would be too fragile then, but might interest some people. I will opt for the more durable model which (with the addition of a bit of Tenacious tape in case of emergencies should last me many years.

See also:

09/06/2017: Dutch Treat: You have to give it to Andrew Bolt: he sure can mix it: three against one, and he won:


09/06/2017: Certainly, time to rename it the Margaret Court Defence of Traditional Marriage Arena. Gadzooks! Once sporting fields were named eg after great players. The demand it be renamed after Yvonne (as Google already has!) glosses over her obvious overt racism in firstly claiming to belong to a ‘different’ race, and then demanding special treatment of people based on race. This is no different than the Nazis and the KKK really. Should it be named after her because she was a great player? Well, perhaps, unless we are going to ban competitive sport because it is elitist. Or women’s sport because it is sexist. After all neither women would have won a single game against perhaps even the 200th male seed if there had really been a ‘level playing field’! And how unfair is all that 'winning' to mediocre players?


09/06/2017: Whatever happened to Christian Fletcher: ‘The Bounty’ (1984) is an excellent film, but what happened to the mutineers after they stranded themselves on the tropical paradise, Pitcairn Island? Like so many socialist idylls, this one did not end happily. When they were rediscovered approx 20 years later, there was only one of the original mutineers still alive. The intervening years had been ones of almost ceaseless murder. 14 out of 15 of the adult males had met his end this way. Fletcher was one of the first to go. astonishing! What a (horror) story this sequel would make:


08/06/2017: 'One way to make sure crime doesn’t pay would be to let the government run it.' Ronald Reagan




07/06/2017: I just do not get it that folk continue to be fooled by this CO2 nonsense. There is no correlation between CO2 and temperature. I repeat: None! And none of the attempts to reconstruct past temperatures and CO2 percentages shows any such causative relationships as the proponents of this weird ‘green’ religion posit. Indeed, ice core and (stromata) sediment CO2 and temperature data show CO2 lags temperature by aprox 800 years ie Temperature changes bring about changes in CO2 a very long time afterwards, and not the other way around. Just taking the brief period of my own lifetime, you can see large chunks of time when eg temperatures were lower than now but CO2 higher, the 1940s for example. (There were over 100,000 direct measurements of CO2 over 400 ppm in the 1940s!) Going back further we can see whole ice ages where CO2 was higher than today, and warm periods when it was lower. People are now invited to ‘like’ the proposition, ‘Don’t you believe in climate change?’ as if it were axiomatic. Well, as ‘climate’ pretty much means ‘change’ over long periods of time, it is well-nigh impossible to ‘deny’ it.

However, two points: the prevailing ‘climate change’ ie the one which has been operational now for at least the last 8,000 years is downwards towards the next ice age. We have been in an inter-glacial for nearly 15,000 years. For the last several million years there has been a well-nigh endless succession of ice ages and inter-glacials (Timed something like 100,000: 15,000 years alternatively). As there is no clear and unequivocal explanation of this phenomenon (even though it did not pertain to the great majority of life’s time on earth), the greatest probability is that such a sequence is 99%+ likely to repeat. Ergo, we are well on our way (at least 12,000 years (!)) towards the next ice age when a blanket of the frozen stuff will cover most of Europe, North America and Central Asia a mile deep.

The other point is that such periods as we have been able to ‘observe’ with anywhere near ‘reliable’ records (say the last 100 years or so), shows no clear pattern which is different from normal variation – meaning that short-term data shows none of the signature which would indicate ‘climate change’ especially of the ‘anthropic’ kind.

If there is nothing negative about CO2, is there anything positive? You’d better bet there is. CO2 is simply wonderful plant food. The increase in CO2 which has occurred in the last few decades (whether down to man’s outpourings or some other ‘natural’ phenomenon – such as a response to the Medieval Warm period’ of approx 800 years ago – remember that lag I mentioned before?) has produced an abundance of life. There has been a massive increase in ‘greening’ all over the world. The world has added a couple of areas the size of America of new forest cover as a result of that CO2. And crop yields everywhere are enormously up, meaning that poverty and starvation have well-nigh disappeared from the planet at the same time as population has risen substantially! At the same time incidentally the percentage of the ‘new’ CO2 which has a ‘human signature’ (Yes, this can, and has be measured – since the 1950s actually) has not increased substantially, despite mankind’s (seemingly) massive outpourings (Think Hazelwood, for example). It remains infinitesimal! And yet Trump has the temerity to destroy the planet with it. Oh Woes:


07/06/2017: Al Jazeera: Why is so much of our news on the ABC and even moreso on SBS syndicated from Al Jazeera the Qatari news service, a known backer of Islamic terrorism and even banned in Saudi Arabia? What sort of independence and lack of bias are our two public broadcasters displaying here? Whatever happened to Reuters, Associated Press, Pathe, etc where our news used to come from?


07/06/2017: How long before our own NDIS finds someone like Mr Eric C Conn? $600 million fraud. Wow:


06/06/2017: If only our pollies could perform magic as well as this guy. Don’t blink:


06/06/2017: Churchill 77 years ago today: ‘Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.’


06/06/2017: It is unfortunate that more folk no longer read the Classics. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are perhaps mainly moral allegories on the virtue of hospitality, and the punishment which ought to befall an unworthy ‘guest’ Paris stole Menelaus’ wife, Helen (thus provoking the Trojan War), as you might remember from Brad Pitt’s ‘Troy’; his fate was to have his whole city razed to the gound, his people killed or enslaved. Odysseus similarly punished the unwanted (suitor) guests who had been preying on his wife Penelope with violent and sudden death. And a right good thing too! We have had many unpleasant ‘guests’ in our country who perhaps ought to read more Homer – or be treated to his ‘remedies’! When in Rome, live as we do – or else!


05/06/2017: Where will it end? French ‘academic’ self-identifies as a hippo:

05/06/2017: Tier Gear Catenary Cut Hex Tarp: Thanks to Aussie Outfitter and hammock maker Tier Gear for allowing me to repost DIY instructions for this excellent tarp. You can purchase all the items you need to build it and the 'Netless Hammock' from them at a very good price with excellent service and speedy delivery.  These instructions detail one way to make a light weight hex shaped tarp with catenary cut sides. It incorporates a ridge line which is sewn using polyester binding tape. The binding tape ridge line is strong, should not need seam sealing, and adds very little extra weight. If you cannot sew you can buy the tarp ready-made from them for a very reasonable A$160 (2017):

Length of ridgeline is 335cm
Weight is 324grams
Fabric used: Xenon Sil fabric - 7 metres needed
Hardware used: Split rings (4), and Silkworms (4).
Ridgeline binding: 25mm Polyester binding tape - approx 4 metres needed
Tie outs: 13mm grosgrain ribbon and Silkworms.
Thread used: Serafil 60 continuous filament polyester thread but most good quality outdoor threads will do the job.
Needle: Size 12

Step 1:
Lay out your fabric on a large flat surface, measure and cut two pieces 3460mm long.

Step 2:
On bottom long edge measure in 900mm at either end, and mark. Draw a line from these marks to the top corner. Repeat at both ends of each piece of fabric.

Step 3:
Now we are going to mark out the catenary cuts. On the lines you have just drawn, measure and mark the mid-point. Also do this on the bottom edge.

Step 4:
Using a set square measure from the mid-point up 100mm and draw a line. Repeat on all sides and bottom edge.

Step 5:
Now using a length of 6mm dowel (or some other equivalent), and some heavy weights to keep it in place position the dowel so that it intersects the two corners and the mid catenary cut mark, and draw a line along the dowel. Repeat on all sides

Step 6:
Cut out the catenary cuts.

Step 7:
Sew a rolled hem along 3 sides of each piece of fabric but not the ridgeline. Pin where needed. Double stitched is preferable so a sew another line of stitching on the outer edge of the hem. Due to the cat cuts you will find the material will want to twist in places but work carefully and manipulate it as best you can. It won't be perfect.

The width of my rolled hem is about 12-13mm which is needed due to my tie out configuration. If you choose to go with a different tie out configuration you may use a narrower hem width.

Step 8:
Now take both pieces and pin the ridgeline together, making sure that the ends line up, and the sewn rolled hem is oriented to the inside.

Step 9:
Sew one line of stitching about 6mm from the edge along the length of the ridgeline. This is used just to hold the fabric prior to binding the ridgeline.

Step 10:
Using the polyester binding tape bind the ridgeline either by hand folding or utilising a binding attachment suited to your machine. Make sure you leave about 100mm at either end, though I recommend cutting it longer than needed now and you can trim to size later. You can also double stitch the ridgeline if you choose - which is what I did.

Step 11:
Fold the ends of the binding tape over, and stitch back onto itself on the ridgeline, leaving a loop of about 25-30mm at each end. I use a basic straight stitch bar tack with a z pattern which I have found to be more than strong enough. I measure and mark 10mm lines for the bar tacks, and sew a few times back and forth with a shorter stitch length than used on the tarp hem.

Also make sure you melt the ends of the binding tape to prevent it from fraying later on.

I use 2 split rings but you can use whichever hardware you like, or none at all.

Step 12:
For the tie outs I chose a minimal lightweight design which incorporates no extra reinforcing as the stitching is kept within the hemmed edge of the tarp material only.
Firstly I folded back a small section of the corner and stitched it down with a basting stitch - just to hold it in place.

Step 13:
I then used 13mm grosgrain which was cut to a length of 120mm, and sewn to each corner using the same bar tack z stitch pattern as used on the ridgeline with 10mm spacing. These were sewn on the inside of the tarp, and a loop left in the middle which your hardware is attached to or you can tie your guylines straight to this loop. Repeat on all 4 corners.

In this instance I used Silkworm hardware which are extremely lightweight but again you can use what ever you choose or nothing at all.

Step 14:
Once both sides of the tie out are sewn, its important to lay down a reinforcing stitch along edge of the corner. Flip the material over, with the grosgrain situated on the bottom and make sure you capture the grosgrain on the under side. A few stitches back and forth should do it. Repeat on all 4 corners and you are done.

Step 15:
Go hang it and admire your handy work.

05/06/2017: The Guinea Pig Club. Watch out for it:

05/06/2017: If any other political movement (eg the Nazi or Communist Party) had been responsible for, supportive of, and had as its inspitation a core central text as was the case with the three recent terrorist attacks in Britain (or elsewhere) the demand that those movements and those texts be banned and their adherents either deported or banned from entering our countries would have been unstoppable. What is it about disguising yourself as a religion (albeit an evil and murderous one - from the very core exemplar up) that graces your vile tenets in such an aura of sanctity that we are unable to act against you? State protections for all religions have to stop. Anything which preaches such patent falsehoods (and I include the new ‘green’ and ‘climate’ religions in this) must at very least receive no support from the State (ie no tax breaks, no education subsidies, etc). Indeed all such organizations ought to be actively opposed by the state with a view to ultimately eliminating them from our societies.

04/06/2017: Three more Attacks in London: With all this going on, you can’t imagine how May could lose on Thursday:

04/06/2017: Continuous Loop: Another Great Hammock Idea: This is just a much better way of attaching your hammock to your suspension system. it really protects the material of the hammock so it will last much, much longer: As you can see it goes through the seam you sewed in the end of your hammock, then loops back through itself so imposing much less stress on the hammock material.

The hook you see in the photo is a 3.4 gram 'whoopie hook' another genius idea for simplified hammock set-up. Also available from Tier Gear:

The continuous loop should be used in conjunction with the 'whoopie slings:

See also: Titanium Dutch Hook for attaching your tarp ridgeline:

04/06/2017: The Wonderful Clive James on that climate nonsense: ‘You can just about see how a bunch of grant-dependent climate scientists might go on saying that there was never a Medieval Warm Period even after it has been pointed out to them that any old corpse dug up from the permafrost could never have been buried in it… a more illustrative starting point for the theme of the permanently imminent climatic apocalypse might be taken as August 3, 1971, when The Sydney Morning Herald announced that the Great Barrier Reef would be dead in six months. After six months the reef had not died, but it has been going to die almost as soon as that ever since, making it a strangely durable emblem for all those who have wedded themselves to the notion of climate catastrophe…Personally, I don’t even like the idea of Trump changing a light bulb, but we ought to remember that this dimwitted period in the history of the West began with exactly that: a change of light bulbs. Suddenly, 100 watts were too much. For as long as the climate change fad lasted, it always depended on poppycock; and it would surely be unwise to believe that mankind’s capacity to believe in fashionable nonsense could be cured by the disproportionately high cost of a temporary embarrassment.’ Clive is as always, just great. How sad that he won’t be with us much longer. A ‘must read’: This link is behind a paywall, but you can read the story by copying the first sentence into Google and hitting ‘Enter’. One of life’s great mysteries…


04/06/2017: Meanwhile Noel Pearson wants a treaty. Can you guess why: ‘No Aboriginal leader has been given such lavish funds to show he can fix what these white politicians can’t — more than $150 million over eight years to help just 3000 people at Cape York. That’s a staggering $50,000 for each man, woman and child, on top of all the normal funding for welfare and services; but what has Pearson’s Cape York Initiative achieved with all that? Here’s what the Jesuit Social Services Australia and Catholic Social Services Australia concluded last year about Aurukun, the biggest of the four small communities in Pearson’s welfare “trial”: “Aurukun’s deterioration is evident in a range of indicators, including: Criminal convictions (ranked 11th in 2007 and 1st in 2014); young adults not engaged in work or study (ranked 107th in 2007 and 5th in 2014) and unemployment (ranked 262nd in 2007 and 10th in 2014).”’ (Andrew Bolt)  NB: That $50,000 would be on top of the approx $100,000 per capita squandered on ‘aboriginal persons’ specifically by the Commonwealth Government – and that is on top of the ‘normal’ spend on Welfare, education, Justice, health, Housing, Public Transport, etc, etc on which so many are also dependent.

03/06/2017: Whoopie Slings - Great Hammock Idea! Hummingbird Hammocks have one of the lightest suspension systems around (2.3 oz - 66 grams per hammock). The genius idea about them is the whoopie sling tension adjustment system. Here's a little video I took showing how they work. Setting up your hammock just perfectly is literally a breeze and the work of a minute:

It is a little hard to see how they work, but basically the end of the rope is passed up through the hollow centre of itself, forming a loop at one end) so that it can slide fairly freely through when there is no tension but as the tension increases the outside of the rope (tube) holds on harder and harder to the length that is passing through it. It is an ingenious idea (probably familiar to riggers), and would also work well for tent guys. In the pictured example there is a handy knot at one end to hold on to whilst pulling the end through and so tightening up the 'hang' of the hammock. These would work with any kind of hammock, and can be bought separately from them (see below)

Tier gear also a make an adjustable centre line (using the whoopie sling principle) which helps your hammock to hang flat. They certainly do that, and only add 6 grams to the weight of your set up Well worth it as it also gives you somewhere to hang a few things. You can make a small silnylon bag (like a miniature saddle bag) to hang from the centre line so that you can easily reach things like your glasses or head torch in the middle of the night.

I usually add a gear hook at each end of my hammock(s) so I can attach things out of the weather at the ends of my hammock.This only adds a couple of grams too.

Available here:

see Also:

03/06/2017: Menzies again: ‘I do not believe that the real life of this nation is to be found either in great luxury hotels and the petty gossip of so-called fashionable suburbs, or in the officialdom of the organised masses. It is to be found in the homes of people who are nameless and unadvertised, and who, whatever their individual religious conviction or dogma, see in their children their greatest contribution to the immortality of their race. The home is the foundation of sanity and sobriety; it is the indispensable condition of continuity; its health determines the health of society as a whole’


03/06/2017: Too many people today have never learned to have pride in themselves. As a consequence we are turning into a nation of beggars whose only sense of pride comes from ever louder demands that someone else, eg ‘the Government’ ‘should’ do something more for them. The only pride many people seem to have is in ‘crying poor’, (They are the ‘battlers’, you see) as if it is their ‘right’ that the correct response to this quite pathetic display was to shower them with even more free things. However, the really correct response to all such temper tantrums, is ignore them; when they have quietened down advise them to stand on their own two feet and shift for themselves! These are the two most important rights: the right to work (I do not mean the ‘right’ to a job); & the right to own private property. All such ‘leaners’ should just get on with it!

02/06/2017: The Lie of the Land:

If you want to move around in the bush with confidence without getting lost (and without artificial aids (except for noting the general northerly direction from the sun (or its shadow - eg on your thumbnail: You should always take note of the 'fall' of the country. The fall is the slope of the country; if you follows this slope, however slight, you will come to a watercourse in time, even if it is only a small dry gully. This in turn will lead down, getting larger as it is joined by other gullies and creeks until it reaches the river, and the fall of the land will continue until the sea is reached.

So as you move about you always have this fall as a reference point in the back of you mind. You might say you are on the 'southern fall of Rocky Creek' or the 'west fall of Little Sandy'. Starting from a known point you will move about quite freely,confident that all the little gullies and creeks that you may cross lead back to the river system that you are using as a reference.

Whichever way you move, whether up or down, or in any direction, you are always conscious of being in a sort of bowl, and at the very bottom of the bowl is the river.

If you move on to higher ground, when you reach the highest point you will look for a change in the fall of the land. The next slope will lead to a different creek, and this may join the earlier river that you are using as a point of reference, or it may run into a totally different river system. If you can deduce this information then you can move around this basin with the same confidence that you used to traverse the first.

Suppose you are travelling from A to C below

While you are moving around A you should be conscious of the fact that all the fall of the land is towards creek A, and know that this will eventually join the main river.

As you move up to the highest point, you should realise that as this is the highest point it must be the divide between area A and area B. Usually this is called simply the 'divide'. You should then try and establish a mental picture of the new system which you have to cross. Is the fall in the same general direction? If so then it may well be a creek system that will in turn join back to the main river. If not then what is its general direction?

Having established the general direction of the fall, the you will be able to proceed with confidence. In this case you will have noted that the general direction of the main creek is the same as the previous one, and will therefore assume that they are both tributaries of the same river.

As you proceed you will also be taking into account the fact that the small gullies feeding into the main creek do so at an angle to that creek, and you will also use this to help you keep your directions. Because you have formed a mental picture of the creek system A and have related this to the new creek system B, you can now move across this new creek system with confidence, secure in the knowledge that as long as you continue to keep the fall of the land to your right side, then you will be travelling in the correct general direction.

In time you begins to climb, and once more reaches a new divide. Before moving on you establishe that in this case the new creek system is running at an angle to the previous one, and in order to keep to the correct course you must travel in the same direction as the small tributaries of this creek. In this way yoou will arrive at the general position of your objective.

Usually you only attempt to travel in such a straight line if the country is gently undulating. If you encounters steep gullies and deep creeks you would simply follow the divide itself, following the course indicated by the heavy dotted line. You would still locate yourself mentally by comparing the direction of the creek A with creek B, and in turn their relation to creek C, but will have the added advantage of being able to keep two creek systems in sight all the time, thus allowing greater precision in your pathfinding.

Notice how the early explorers used this system to move with confidence over unknown territory. Kennedy for instance made constant reference to the ‘Divide’ when he explored Cape York. He knew that if the rivers that he crossed were flowing to the East then he was not very far from the coast, but if they flowed to the West then the Divide must be on his right side. Similarly Mitchell crossed all the westward flowing rivers on huis ay to Victoria. It was only when the rivers began to flow away to the South or east that he knew that he had crossed the Divide. By observing the lie of the land (and his compass) he was then able to make hs way back again

NB: So that your return jouney will be easy and you will not ‘get bushed’ you should fall into the habit of taking a brief spell every few minutes and turn and face your rstarting point while you ‘catch your breath’ observing carefull what the country looks like from that direction and particularly how your route proceeded in comparison to the lie of the land. This way you will easily be able to make your way back. This is even the case if you do not return by the same route, but usually walk a circuit (as I normally do when hunting in order to cover the most country). If you have looked back and noted where your starting point was and how you got where you are you should have no difficulty returning to your starting point even by a different route. Usually following the ridges (or the divides) is the easiest route.

See Also:

02/06/2017: Astonishing light show:


02/06/2017: Congratulations to Donald Trump for exposing the world’s nakedness! It is at best absurd, but more likely evil that climate change is taught as axiomatic (even though he majority of the population disagrees with it), but schools may not teach the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount (which used to be central moral statements) because a tiny portion of the population has some other sick and aberrant view! And what a great line: ‘I care more about Pittsburgh than Paris.’


02/06/2017: As soon as China (or anyone) succeeds in ‘unlocking’ methane hydrate the vastest supplies of hydrocarbons ever will become available. This will spell the end of many current ‘resource’ economies (such as our own!) Clearly the Chinese believe they are close.:


02/06/2017: This from the latest edition of the Islamic State's magazine: ‘As the Crusaders continue to wage their vicious campaign on the lands of Islam they are constantly reminded that this honorable ummah has men – heroes - who gallantly demonstrate with their operations that (Westerners, ie us) will be met with blades that plunge into their bodies, vehicles that unexpectedly mount their busy sidewalks, smashing into crowds, crushing bones, and severing limbs, and bullets that pierce their filthy bodies while they are in the midst of their foul enjoyment. The likes of Man Haron Monis, Numan Haider, and Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar in Australia, and others set heroic examples with their operations. With their blood they incited, instructed, and demonstrated practically for other Muslims how one can attain Allah’s pleasure and escape His wrath while stationed in the garrisons of the open war arena against the Crusader West.’ Yet the head of ASIO can find no connection between refugees, immigration and terrorism! &



01/06/2017: MH128: At least this incident ended ‘happily’. Well done those brave folks who tackled this person. A question remains however: ‘Why do we let them in?’



01/06/2017: Quote of the week, Enoch Powell, from his famous ‘rivers of blood’ speech, 1968: ‘It almost passes belief that at this moment 20 or 30 additional immigrant children are arriving from overseas in Wolverhampton alone every week - and that means 15 or 20 additional families a decade or two hence. Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.’ The whole speech is to be found below. You DON”T have to be a rocket scientist to be gifted with a certain degree of prescience or to see that a current policy is leading the nation to future certain disaster: if you read the whole speech (in today’s context) I feel that you will find it hard to believe (as I do) that Enoch Powell has been long vilified for making it:


01/06/2017: Less Government. More freedom: In so many ways the anarchists had it right! Government over-reach is more than problematic. It is stealing the very last of our freedoms, drowning us in a maze of red, green and black tape, destroying our economy, handing our nation over to foreigners, turning our education ‘system’ into an agency of extreme leftist indoctrination, bankrupting us with massive debt…’

I just hope that you are able to see that life is generally better when government is reduced to the proper size and scope.

We should be able to say what we want to say without fear of retribution.

We should be able to live out our convictions and worship as we please.

We should be able to protect our own homes and do what we want with our own property.

We should be able to raise our own children and make our own health decisions.

We should be able to be free from the fear that the government is watching, tracking and monitoring all of our electronic communications.

In every human heart there is a hunger to live free, and big government is the enemy of freedom.

The dreams that our forefathers once had for this nation may have faded, but they aren’t dead just yet.

A new generation of patriots is rising, and we are determined to take our country back.’ This is the most frightening statistic: Today, there are less Americans that are self-employed than there were 27 years ago. In April 1990, 8.7 million Americans worked for themselves, but in April 2017 only 8.4 million Americans were working for themselves. That may not sound that bad until you realize how much our population grew over that time frame. In 1990, the population of the United States was 249 million, but today the population is 321 million. So the percentage of Americans that are working for themselves has gone way, way down.

31/05/2017: Things that keep you from hiking, hunting…

I am really keen to return to my beloved Gippsland mountains for some hiking, fishing, hunting but I still have so many jobs to do around the farm. We have been 'fixing' two dams damaged by last year's floods (hopefully they will hold now); we have a new boundary fence with two neighbours to construct in a terribly difficult situation; we have had sheep to sell and transport; we have hundreds more trees to plant; sometimes we have a bit of baby-sitting to do, and we have done a 'Spot' of burning off (just like this: as you can see. Life is such a serious business! Must stock that dam behind me with some fish at least!


31/05/2017: Venery is certainly not dead: My post yesterday ‘A Wild River Stag’ has already been ‘shared’ by over a thousand people and ‘liked’ by even more. Maybe the vegetarians aren’t winning after all!


31/05/2017: Meetings: I have a friend who is really good at attending meetings (which I am not!) If only having meetings was really a way of actually getting things done, how much work would be achieved! I am much more archaic, clinging to the ‘old scientific’ definition of work ie that it is a measure of moving mass over distance. Oh well, I had better get on with it. There is no-one else to meet with here, saving Della, and she treats my excuses with the scorn they deserve!


31/05/2017: ‘Beerenomics’: Every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill comes to $100. They pay their bill the way progressive taxes work. The poorest four pay nothing. The fifth pays $1. The sixth $3. The seventh $7. The eighth $12. The ninth $18. The tenth man (the richest) pays $59. The ten men are content, until the bar owner says he wants to reward their custom by reducing their bill by $20. How will they divide the $20 windfall so everyone gets a fair share? The owner suggests reducing each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he is, to follow the principle of the tax system. So the fifth man, like the first four, now pays nothing (100% saving). The sixth pays $2 (33% saving). The seventh $5 (28% saving). The eighth $9 (25% saving). The ninth $14 (22% saving). And the tenth now pays $49 (16% saving). Each of the six is better off and the first four still get free beer. But outside the bar they compare their savings. “I only got a dollar,” says the sixth man. He points at the tenth man, “but he got $10!” The others agree. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2?” yells the seventh man. “We didn’t get anything at all,” yell the first four. “This new tax system exploits the poor!” So they beat up the tenth man. The next night he doesn’t show up at the bar so the other nine drink without him. But when it comes time to pay the bill, they discover they don’t have enough money between them to pay even half!

30/05/2017: A Wild River Stag: I know lots of you have seen this photo before as I have used it as a signature image for some time. Unsurprisingly a number have asked, 'There must be a story behind that stag, Steve. Tell us about it'. Well, here goes...You can no doubt tell by how much I have aged that it was a number of years ago. I was working my way up an overgrown, neglected river in East Gippsland making a trail, opening up some country that had pretty much closed over with regrowth and blackberries. (No, I am not going to tell you which one - go find your own river!)

I live two hours from the city, yet I had had over four hours of comfortable driving in the old Land Rover Defender and then a couple more of rough 4WD scrambling to arrive at the end of the track where a relatively popular vehicle hunter's camp was to be found. There would be no point in hunting anywhere within half a day's walk of it if I wanted to see undisturbed deer. There was no-one there - one of the advantages of being a shift worker, farmer or retired is that you can hunt during the week when pretty much no-one else is about. It takes the deer a couple of days to settle down after they have been quite stirred up by the weekend warriors - even longer now that so many are wearing the dreadful camo clothing which is so impractical, unnecessary, even dangerous unless it is blaze orange, which looks just as silly though.

Other folk had pretty much pushed and broken a path up along the river through the predominantly black wattle regrowth to the intersection with a small river flowing in on the true right bank where most had turned off. I was enlarging this with my machete in case I wanted to bring my wife with me on a future expedition as she is partially sighted, so needing a pretty clear path to follow. I had this small river to cross on the first day and a number of side gullies. The little river looked promising, and was clearly where most people go to hunt, as their paths led that way - but I was heading up the main one.

This is what the side river looked like a little further up after you had cleared the thicker stuff. Worth some exploration on another occasion perhaps, except that was where most folk were going. The lie of the land tells me there are some good flats up there somewhere, mostly where those big side gullies you can see come in. It is much more gentle country than where I was going. I have always preferred the harder country because of the lack of company you can enjoy there. 'No company is better than bad company,' I always say. And there are so many good books still to read - which are so light now that the e-book has been invented! I now read them on my phone.

Those bluffs you can see mean you would have to cross and recross the river or climb deer paths over them. Of course, this is a very easy river to cross. (See: Still, a lesson is in order: Can you see where you should cross this river? No, you don't try boulder hopping eg top centre. Forget about having dry feet if you are hiking, fishing  or deer hunting. You can make a pair of ultralight camp shoes so you will have dry feet of a night (such as these:; that is all you need. Or a pair of Crocs if you aren't handy.

Boulder hopping or log walking will just get you a nasty fall sometime far from help, perhaps a broken leg or fractured skull, or even death if you get swept away under a log jam. You should cross where the current is least (not necessarily where it is shallowest - do not worry about getting your thermometer wet; it will still work!), and where the bottom is not rock, but sand and gravel so you don't slip - so step between the two large boulders centre left and work your way across above the two small rocks centre. That is where the water is slowest and you can see soft bottom between the rocks. You should try to cross facing upriver or downriver to minimise being knocked off your feet by the current. I find upriver best.

A stout stick (or hiking poles) will provide you with a third or fourth leg to help with balance. Many people say you should hold the pole upstream, but I favour downstream. Always undo your chest and hip belt, no matter how small the crossing. It is a good habit which will one day save your life. If you are swept away with your pack cinched up, you are in dire trouble. If the current is clearly such that you will likely be swept off your feet, either don't cross at all or find a very long straight section where you can paddle across using your inflated sleeping mat as a kick board with your pack tied on top. You may have to walk quite a ways up or down a river to find such a spot. I have sometimes spent most of a day about finding just such a suitable crossing point in swollen rivers. And I have camped out for the better part of a week, waiting. So, don't you be impatient with your life! You may not get another! Certainly you would be lucky to get another half so good as the one we have!

After the crossing there were a number of flats and bluffy ridges to cross, an interesting anabranch with numerous wallows, one containing a large stag which fled noisily and precipitously, his klaxon on full volume. It was a fine warm day in late autumn and I was walking into the westering sun so that the sun winked endless reflections off the rippling water. I do love the echoic roar of fast white water. There were numerous rapids but nothing above Grade 2 and there was plenty of water for a future packrafting trip, which I have subsequently made. Delightful. I wish I had had my Klymit pack raft with me on this occasion: (but...'If wishes were fishes...')

The autumn break had long since arrived, so there was feed aplenty in the bush, such that any game was like to be in good condition. The wombats and wallabies were fat enough you had nearly to kick them out of the way. The air was alive with the beat of bronze-wing pigeon's wings, wood swallows' curving flight, currawongs calling. Wrens and sitellas crept along every branch rattling the bark. The tree fern gullies rang with lyrebird song... Below, a honeyeater taking the sun:

And above, a wood swallow, such a lambent grey:

As you push along a river, you scatter the riverfolk before you. Time and again a blue crane croaks and rises awkwardly to claw his way pterodactyl-like upstream. Black and wood ducks scatter or loudly clap away around a bend. Every so often there is the soft dipping graceful flight of a blue jay, my favourite. And then I hear the whistle and click and I see the painted beauty of a bee-eater scything through the sky. Water dragons flop into the river; every so often a water rat glides off a wet bank otter-like. You can sometimes see the painted shards on the shingle where they have feasted on molluscs or small crustaceans.

This first trip here I only got about as far the first day as you could get in a half day if you were vehicle camping (way back there) and the track was already clear. I camped the night on the ground under my old home made 7' by 7' two ounce weight nylon tarp (below), as I was tired and there just weren't any suitable trees in the only suitable spot close to water. This is sometimes the case with hammock camping, so you should be flexible enough that you can camp on the ground. See: This tarp cost me $7 a metre to make many years ago, so it cost less than $30 intoto , and I have had about a thousand dollars use out of it!

A tarp of these dimensions is pretty much the minimum for shelter for one person. For two you need something slightly bigger, such as my 8' x 8' 'winged' 200 gram cuben tarp I have mentioned many times. You can sleep sideways in it under the overhang and stay quite dry unless the weather circles the compass, in which case you will have to swing it round too - but that just about never happens. You worry too much!. You can have a nice cheery fire out the front, like this. You can instead use it as a hammock tarp and it will still keep you quite dry. In silnylon it would weigh about 220 grams. In cuben even less. I am going to make up my poncho in this 7'x7' configuration soon, as it will be even handier if it is your raincoat too: The waterproof zios now available are quite magical.

I cooked my meal on the Bushbuddy stove (shown):, some Chinese sausage with mash and Surprise peas. A fair meal, but I have better. (Try a search above for 'Food')

The cuben tarp with one 'wing' closed. You can see it again here:

I can tell you are thinking I haven't got enough gear for a few night's camping in the bush when temperatures may fall to freezing. That (230 gram cuben fibre) pack looks just too small to contain a change of (warm) clothes, a raincoat, sleeping bag, food, etc. However, I can see that I even had enough space for a small quantity of Bacardi 151 rum in case the nights got just too cold! You take too much! By the time I was sitting down to tea in the tarp (as you see me) the temperature was already falling down to 5C or less, but I am still in my shirtsleeves. This is what having a warm open shelter with a fire out the front is all about! You really need one of those Big Agnes Cyclone chairs I have got ( and the Thermarest Neoair mat if you haven't already got one to be really comfy. I see from the photo that this was before they came up with the women's model (, or perhaps I took the one with the rectangular corners as it is more suitable for hammock camping. I have not bothered with a ground sheet as the ground was nice and dry after that warm sunny day. I had an emergency space blanket I could use ( 50 grams - as above) if it rained. If you want an idea of what I carry for a fair expedition, have a look at the list here:

I had stopped at this spot where a tree-choked blackberry gully entered the river because the way ahead was closed by bluffs on each side of the river and a hugely dense blackberry thicket. There were good numbers of deer up  the side gully and a dozen or so came down just after dusk to serenade me as I cooked my supper. You could see their eyes winking like fireflies in the light of my head torch just outside the circle of the firelight. They usually vent their disapproval like busy traffic for five minutes or so, then move on about their own cervine business.

It looked too thick to hunt up the side gully though. Perhaps it opens up further up. On the map it is many kilometres long, and carries a lot of water in a wet season judging by the debris where it joins the river. This is sometimes the case. I still haven't checked it out. There are many such stream bends to peer around whose surprises I may never see. The far horizon retreats just as quickly as your footsteps advance. And time waits for no man.

In the morning I put off work long enough to snag a trout for my breakfast on a hand line (See: Alfoil grilled trout with muesli might not be everyone's view of ambrosia, but I felt they were pretty good. These East Gippsland rivers are alive with trout. You should always bring a line. Bait is easy: trout will eat anything. When I went to wash the dishes I noticed signs of an old hand's camp I had missed the night before in much the same spot from years' ago. The remains of a rusted hurricane lamp hung from a nail driven into a tree branch, and there was an old  handle-less frypan scattered amid the tussocks. I bet they had heard a tale or two in times gone by.

The next day I had nearly 200 metres of blackberry regrowth to hack a tunnel through almost straightaway. In places it was 12' high and thick as your wrist, so it was hard going., and as a result I did not get very far the second day. Not even a deer had penetrated this thicket. It was a narrow gorgy section both sides of the river at this point so it was clear no-one had penetrated further for some years either. Of course I was using this: You should get one(or two). Up to this point, the first day and a half's hacking had seemed pretty unpromising. Sure, there were deer about. I had several honk at me and a few others crash away into the bush. One had even ploughed across the swollen river, unseen because of the thick regrowth, but you have to be able to actually see them if you are going to take one home.

The bush is sprinkled with scenes of great beauty, yet it can be improved: here a bower bird has scoured the bush to find blue coloured objects (as they do). No other colour stands out quite so well in our forests. He has made a pretty spot for himself underneath the blackberry and dogwood fronds and amongst the wild marshmallow. You hope his efforts were rewarded with a doting mate!

I guess other people had expected that the thick stuff would go on forever and had given up on this particular valley which is why I had it pretty much to myself. I was beginning to think so too, I must confess but once clear of this horror patch of blackberries the river flats on both sides started to open up a bit. Sometimes you could see a hundred yards through the trees, plenty enough to encourage me further on. Also, the deer I was beginning to see were now much less spooky. Instead of honking and crashing off, I was at least getting to see them for a bit. After lunch ( I watched a doe with twin poddies (very unusual) for a few minutes before she grazed off around the corner of a side gully.

If you are watching deer, or any other animal never look them in the eye. Indeed, when they look at you, lower your gaze, or even bend double as if grazing. If you continue to ignore them in this way, they will usually ignore you too so long as you don't move quickly. Just watch one of Attenborough's documentaries how slowly a tiger for example stalks his prey even though he is always in broad daylight. You can stalk right up to a black wallaby, for example like this without spooking them. I have often demonstrated this to disbelievers, usually concluding the demonstration by snatching the startled hopper up by his tail, something which I do not recommend with a full size kangaroo - or a sambar deer! I have tried - both!

I love to watch the does gliding with their young,  and the young gamboling like little lambs, running in circles, climbing and jumping from anthills, while the does - almost like wind-up deer, always with a front hoof poised quivering in the air, ready for a warning stomp telling the small flock: 'Fly. Danger! And, in the wink of an eye they all disappear into the hushed silence of the bush.

Kookaburras delight in warning you that deer are moving just ahead: 'Up this side gully. Quickly!' Their raucous cries echo off the ridges. Of course they have their dawn and evening chorus. That's not what I mean. How often have they alerted me to a big doe or stag just out of sight, but which I can then stalk. When I am chain-sawing firewood at home they will swoop between my face and the saw, their wings almost beating against my nose to snatch a grub or a wood roach my sawing has just revealed. Maybe they have feasted oft enough on venison, they are encouraging us onwards, 'Feed me' they call. Anyway, their daytime chorus ought not be ignored. I have followed their advice successfully many times.

As dusk swiftly approached the clearings on the other side of the river at this point were becoming a little more interesting, whereas I was walking along a narrow strip beside the river on mine, with just a thin string of spindly bushes along the river bank. I admit I was concentrating on the other side (though I had no intention of shooting something on the far side) as it seemed there was no cover to hide a deer on mine - only a bit of tussock and the low bushes. Yet suddenly this lovely stag stood right up from among the tussock, appearing as if from nowhere under the overhanging branches of a large bedraggled gum. There he stood glowing with robust health in his glory, framed by the westering sun and the succulent native willow. There was no skillful stalk or triumph of trick shooting in this encounter. It was just a second's effort to throw my lever action up and send a bullet into his chest.

Somehow, no matter how many times you do this, you always expect that the loud report will drop them like a stone - and perhaps half the time this is so, but this guy just steamed off through the river like a locomotive. The water was shoulder high, yet he must have made a bow-wave three feet high as he clove the torrent. I drove another round into his chest as he crossed the river, but he showed no slackening. When he hit the other bank he turned 90 degrees and ran up it at a gallop, quickly disappearing from sight round a slight bend through the thick undergrowth. You always think, 'Damn. Another miss', but your confidence in your practiced skill tells you that both those rounds went soundly home, and this big guy has to be lying dead just around the corner very soon.

It doesn't pay to rush ahead to check though, as likely this will just spook him further if he has any puff left at all, making him just that much harder to find if he manages to run off further, maybe into an acre or two of thick man-ferns. If you give him a spell, he will stop to try and understand what all the noise was, but when he stops he will just lie down quietly and die. So, that's how I found him, just around the corner: he had crashed through that thick stuff behind him, and as soon as he was free and clear he paused an instant, crumpled and was gone. I always feel a terrible sense of loss when I kill anything. I will probably just stop someday when the pain of spoiled beauty becomes too great. But it was not this day!

And there he lies, still. In the photo the river doesn't look all that deep,or the current very great, but it is and it was. It was getting along at quite a fast walking pace here, so would have bowled me over like a straw man had I tried to cross, and swept me over rapids and what I would describe as 'an entertaining drop' if I was white water canoeing! And of course the water was icy. I had also seen nowhere I could have crossed safely either the previous day or this. And there was only a little over an hour of daylight left, as there usually is.

I headed upriver, hoping for a crossing, but I soon concluded I would have to camp and find a way across on the next day. I found a couple of suitable saplings to swing my hammock right next to a splendid sandy beach on the riverbank. Here it is in the morning light. Nothing better than this on the Riviera! You can probably figure I had a tranquil relaxed sleep wrapped in my hammock camped in such an idyllic place (and I did, except for troubled thoughts about having lost my trophy to the river - and time). As you can see, the weather was quite warm, and by now the stag had been lying out on the river shingle amid the native willows for 12 hours. I would need to find a safe way across the river very quickly if I was to recover anything.

If you have not tried hammock camping, you should. I was using a homemade hammock back then made of the same 2 oz stuff (coated ripstop nylon) as the tarp. It weighed around 350 grams including the dyneema suspension 'ropes'. I am currently trialing one of these: which weighs less than 150. They are truly splendid hammocks.

Here is a snap of me taking the sun in one on the shores of Dusky Sound Fiordland last month (April, 2017) while I watched some miniature (Hector's) dolphins playing and frolicking in the limpid waters of the fiord. If you have not yet been there, put it on your 'bucket list'. See: BTW: I have now realised that I just missed a moose in the Hauroko Burn on my second day out. A photo would have been rewarded by a $100,000 prize, but would have been worth far more in achievement and memory than any money. Whether I will live to have another such opportunity, who can tell? Never ignore your sense of smell! - see Dusky 2.

The moving light-play over the embers in the fire, the soft roar of the river, the mournful note of the mopoke and the moonlight creeping low over the frosty mountains are better than any entertainment on TV. What need is there of other company? You can safely give your heart to the mountains, knowing you will need no other friend. The awesome stillness of solitude is all the balm the troubled soul hearkens for. You can still fairly feel the warmth glowing out at you from the colas of my modest campfire. It was a colder night than my first and quickly fell to freezing, yet I was warm, sheltered in my hammock by the tarp, listening to some pleasant music and enjoying a quiet tipple of rum, some macadamias, beef jerky - and a hearty trail soup, such as this:

I always sleep on my back in the hammock (insulated by my Neoair sleeping mat and a couple of small pieces of closed cell foam for my elbows. I have a small pillow which I put under my knees, not under my head; this is necessary: It is more comfortable than any bed. There are no lumps or sticks to poke at you, and no creepy-crawlies running over your face as sometimes happens on the ground. A gentle, rhythmic sway quickly eases you to sleep, and you wake free of aches and pains which hard ground sometimes brings. There is also no danger your bed will get inundated if it rains in torrents, and you don't need a flat spot. There is also no danger of being struck by lightning!

I was moving in the dawn after a breakfast just of muesli chased down with a cup of black coffee next morning. Not long afterwards I tripped over this heavy hunting stand in the long tussocks. It had clearly lain there these twenty years or more. What an incredible thing to have lugged so far through the wild bush! The placid bend where I had camped had it seems many times before been the camp of others - as it will doubtless be in future when I too am dust. In Fiordland, moose hunting I had tripped over a barbed wire fence deep in the near impenetrable jungle. There are few places others have not trod before, yet it is the feeling of solitude, of being the first, of being quite alone in the wilderness which leads us back again and again to push on and explore the wild places by ourselves.

There were plenty of other deer about in the dawn, as indeed there had been in the gathering dusk the night before. I had watched a pair of does with their young frolicking and grazing not 200 yards from where I had shot the stag, and not half an hour afterwards! This is quite normal in undisturbed country. I passed a much better stag busy in a wallow right out in the open on the river margin next morning, again something you frequently see in undisturbed habitat, but not so much elsewhere. I had pretty much walked right by him (no more than twenty metres away) before he deigned to abandon his joyful smelly excesses, let forth a desultory bugle at me and rush off into the whippy undergrowth. Soon I discovered a truly beautiful flat, and clearly an old route once 'properly' blazed. Look at that feed! Note also the coprosma have been stripped of berries, yet it is fruit time! A promising sign. Deer do love mast.

Many wild fruits are edible (some even palatable). Both prickly (shown here) and sweet coprosma are quite pleasant. Also lillypilly, pittosporum and wild cherry. (I doubt deer get many wild cherry as they usually browse it as high as they can reach - if you are ever in Fiordland 'moose hunting' as I am fond of doing, you will notice the browse line is nearly 3' higher. Those guys really are monsters!). Contrary to popular belief plants which ooze white sap are not universally poisonous (though the sap may be) . Figs are a case in point, though there are not many wild figs in Victoria, save in far East Gippsland. Similarly the belief that red fruits should not be eaten is completely wrong, as the majority of fruits are red (especially the edible ones!) The clear to yellowish sap especially of wattles is quite edible and nutritious. We used to often eat it as children. Pretty much all fish, crustaceans and molluscs found in Victoria are not only edible, but delicious. So too are pretty much any animal or insect you will find if you roll over a log or stone, though a little roasting improves their taste I find. The heart of tree ferns is pure carbohydrate and has kept many folks well filed for protracted periods in the bush. It is better baked. All the rushes and sedges, including cumbungi have edible tubers, also best baked. There is no need to go hungry if you happen to find yourself lost in the bush. Nor need you be wet or cold. I will do some posts about such matters soon. Meanwhile, it is always worth practicing such survival skills as you never know when you will need them, and it boosts your self-confidence - particularly if, like me you prefer to hunt alone.

These fruits are fine (providing you have correctly identified them), but if you are tempted to try an unfamiliar fruit, you should first split it and touch the damp flesh to your lip, then wait five minutes. If nothing untoward happens, then touch it to your tongue and wait again. Next chew it a couple of times, then spit it out. If nothing at all has happened it is almost certainly fine to eat, though some things can make you scour especially in large doses. Interestingly enough, we know a lot about the edibility of many Australian plants from the likes of Sir Joseph Banks who was always keen to try eating new things. Again, the colony nearly starved a number of times (particularly 1791), so lots of plants were tried perforce, sea purslane and pigface for example. Europeans rapidly discovered just about as many edible plants in a decade as the previous inhabitants had in a much longer time. The latter were masters though at extracting poisons from otherwise inedible things, like cycads. Don't even try.

As the morning wore on, the river continued deep and swift with nothing in the way of a single safe crossing. The flats on the other side were truly beautiful though. Like a manicured park sprinkled with ash and peppermint gums. They would make good hunting once I discovered the fords the deer used. Fords are one of the best spots to lie in wait for them actually (if you are an ambush predator, which I am not; I get bored waiting, ever eager for new sights and sounds, and not much worried whether I ever take another deer). You can use the westering sun as a kind of spotlight to get a clear shot at the deer as they tiptoe across. This way you can (legally) take them quite close to dark. You need to position yourself though so that your shot will impact a river bank upstream and not skate along the river perhaps endangering someone else kilometres away. And, ideally you need to have already established a campsite quite close by. At least there will be plenty of water for your billy. There is also plenty of fallen timber for your campfire opposite. You could camp there for a year without using it all up, by the looks. Notice the animal drinking spot, centre. That would be a great side gully beyond. I bet there are many adventures to be had there.

Look at this beautiful wallow I found. You can see how the stag has been using the trunks of the trees as his towel. They are well coated with malodourous mud. Here would be a good spot to search for a cast antler, or to wait for him to return as dusk or dawn. You should drag a branch through the bottom if you want to find one,as they are usually found rolled into it. If you find one it will give you a good indication of the size of the resident stag.

Finally I found just such a crossing: the water is slower and shallower here, but still waist deep. You can just make out a deer path on the opposite bank. The bracken flats opposite would make a sheltered 'nursery' area. It had taken nearly half a day to find a suitable crossing. I still needed a stout branch as a prop to prevent myself from being toppled over. I took another three hours to walk back to 'my' stag by which time I was long dry. Unfortunately he had now been lying there for a full twenty-four hours, all day in quite hot sun. His skin would 'slip' and I could not trust the meat would not have begun to spoil since he had not even been gutted. A sad waste really.

I deeply regretted my precipitate action in shooting him in the first place now. So often it is just much better to admire and wonder. I have done so many times since. Deer hunting is mostly an excuse for me to get out hiking and camping (sometimes into places you otherwise could not go, such as our 'National Parks' which are being saved for future generations, rather than ourselves).

And here he is, lying as he fell (with my gun tangled in his rack!) I know the river looks as if you might cross there, but I can assure you I would have been swept away - and there were some particularly nasty rapids downstream. You just can't take such a chance particularly when you are all alone in the wilderness. He was, as you can see, as fat as mud!

On another trip I found these (two) beautiful crossing points a further hour's walk up the river. If only they had been a bit closer to where the stag had fallen, I could have had his meat and cape in the cold water of the river overnight, and back to my car before mid-day the next day if I had hurried - or if I had had my pack raft with me. Life is replete with 'what-ifs'. You just can't let them trouble you. The dice falls as it falls. That is all. You should have 'no regrets', as Edith Piaf said so mellifluously. We are just passing quietly through life. We arrive with nothing, and leave with nothing. Hopefully, you accumulate a few special memories along the way, such as the photo below, taken by my lovely wife Della on my next trip.

And mine of her: There she is, taking her ease on the riverbank opposite me. While we were camping there, a platypus swam around and around this huge pool for half an hour i guess. Such an enchanting sight.

On an even later trip, the river came down in an awesome torrent, and did this whilst I was there. This was just around the corner from the photo above. I just had to wait it out. It pays to have a cache of food in a canoe drum (or similar) against such eventualities; anyway to have enough spare tucker. Tie it under a log well out of reach of any potential floodwaters, so the wombats and possums don't p[lay games with it! You can easily see you could be trapped by floodwaters for a week or more. Half the forest must have ended up at this spot. I know the roar and grinding of the river overnight and sounds like gunshots as vast logs snapped like kindling when this happened was ominous in the extreme

We have explored much further up the river since on a number of trips - and of course, now we can take the dogs. There are many splendors further up. We have gone five more days up. I know most folks find one day's walk away from their vehicle quite enough, mainly because they carry too much, but the further you go the more fascinating things you see. Always, the Victorian bush is a riot of wildflowers, even in winter when I most love to enjoy ot. That's why we have so many honeyeaters such that our State bird is one - I have even seen a little 'helmeted' guy here, though I never tell 'the powers that be' anything they don't need to know! On this occasion every gully was bedecked with snowy clematis, and there were any number of parti-coloured wild peas in bloom.

We have found a truly splendid flat on a magnificent sweeping bend. It must be close to 100 hectares (as square kilometre) where we love to camp. the fishing and swimming is even good in summer. It resembles one of those beauteous English parks, the deer have done such a fine job manicuring it. Further on there is a wonderful hidden valley which you would just about step across without even noticing, but a day's exploration up it will bring many delights: waterfalls, orchids, postcard-perfect clearings...Further on a second small river joins this one. It has a small plain a kilometre or so up which in the summer is a riot of everlasting daisies.

The best part is that when we want to head back to the car we can just blow up the packrafts and enjoy a delightful day or two (like Huck and Tom - or Ratty and Mole) just drifting and 'mucking about' on the river.

Of course this was not the end even of this trip. I was in no hurry to get back and had two days' walk in any case, so I took my ease for a couple or three of delightful days lying about in my hammock in the sun, fishing, nosing up a side gully or two... Just in general really enjoying our beautiful Australian bush - and my solitude!

Alas, this is pretty much all I managed to recover from the stag. This was also just about the only time I have left meat in the bush. I had forgotten to pack my 'embryo wire' or even a folding meat saw, so I had to take the antlers off one at a time (I could not even remove the skull cap whole). I only managed to do this by standing back a ways and putting a couple of shots into his skull so I could recover each antler with a shard of broken bone. Sometimes I am not so well organised either! Still, at least I have the antlers, arranged decoratively in a vase by Della as a reminder of a mountain adventure years ago. Hopefully, even at 68 there will yet be many more...

Unfortunately others have followed our trail, though most only travel one day upriver camping approximately where I crossed on this occasion, so that the deer thereabouts are much more skittish nowadays. Sometimes I venture a further five days upriver (as I said) where in winter there is never anyone about, and the deer are as common as rabbits!

30/05/2017: Nothing to do with Islam. Move on. Move on: ‘“Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home,” Corbyn said, which explains all those post-WWII terror missions by offended Germans and Japanese.’ Tim Blair. Then too there are the more than 30,000 Presbyterian terrorist attacks after September 11, 2001: This chap (a Moslem himself – I fear for his life, actually) actually blames it on the Moslem ‘holy’ books. Who would have guessed?


30/05/2017: The Catholic education system has declared war on the Turnbull government: Add to that the fact the Budget estimates just don’t add up. Morrison and Turnbull fail the most elementary of arithmetic tests. Australia is in dire economic trouble yet these fools fiddle while Rome burns. Bring back Tony and some moral and financial rigour:


29/05/2017: Punish the Dead: I have long advocated this as a preventative to much of the evil which inflicts us. When we still had hanging as a punishment, the condemned were buried in unsanctified ground and their corpses were ‘buried’ in quick lime so that their dead bodies would continue to suffer agony and would be wholly consumed, leaving nothing for ‘Resurrection Day!’ Once Moslem miscreants would likewise have their corpses mutilated and be buried wrapped in a pig’s skin, so that they remained unclean and unable to enjoy the benefits of the manifold virgins promised in their ‘heaven’. A punishment which attacks the core beliefs of the evil simpletons who are the usual perpetrators of such dastardly acts is long overdue. In the C19th in Malaysia, a spate of suicide attackers running ‘amok’ was curtailed by the expedient of punishing them with incarceration in ’lunatic asylums’ so that everyone could see that they were quite mad. This deprived them of their heroic iconography. Certainly innovative approaches are needed to lessen the prevalence of these awful events:


29/05/2017: Making it up as they go along, like so many today, eg the ‘indigenous’ lobby:


29/05/2017: This is a REALLY great article; to paraphrase: ‘(Leftists) have a new word for what normal people call “success”. They call it “privilege,” as if a happy, prosperous life is the result of some magic process…We can’t have the (Australian) people thinking that hard work leads to success; people might start asking why (Labor) constituencies don’t just work harder instead of demanding more money from those who actually produce something…What they say is privilege is what we say is a reward for doing more with our lives than waiting for Uncle Sucker to refill our EBT cards. “Privilege” is a result of not being a human sloth, of not doing drugs, of not having kids we can’t afford them, and of not living our lives as a practical exercise in chaos theory.’


28/05/2017: Thomas Jefferson: A good government is one ‘which shall restrain men from injuring one another (and) shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits.’ And that is all! Let’s leave out the rest, shall we?


28/05/2017: What Menzies would have said about the Budget, and the Liberal Party of today:

27/05/2017: Hunting Thumbtack Reflectors: Thumbtack reflectors such as ‘Fire Tacks’ are a great way to mark any route you may need to travel after dark – eg after sitting up over a wallow or game trail for a sambar deer until the light fades and then wanting to get back safely and quickly to your camp. NB the Stealth ones visible only at night or in UV light. A search for ‘hunting relectors’ or ‘reflective thumbtacks’ will find you quite a range. They are usually only a few dollars for a pack of 25, so you can economically mark quite a long trail. Of course they have a million and one uses other than for hunting. See eg:

At night they look like this. You shouldn't have any trouble following them!

27/05/2017: I Love to Go A’Wandering: Hiking Songs: Songs to maintain your walking tempo, if your spirits begin to flag or when hiking with children.

Since time immemorial people have walked (and marched) to the accompaniment of songs, and oft with fife and drum, so when we took our infant grandson for a walk around to the weir the other day ( and we needed to jolly him along a bit, we quickly ran through our rather short repertoire of readily remembered tunes.

When we got home I naturally thought I would try the internet for some more suggestions but Google drew (relatively) a blank on this one, no matter how I searched. Yet I am sure that when Alexander crossed the Hellespont or Caesar the Rubicon, or Napoleon marched on Marengo or Washington on Valley Forge (& etc) it seems vanishingly unlikely that the troops did not swing along with a rousing chorus on their lips – maybe their last words: ‘Once more into the valley of death…’ & so on.

The secret of (winning) infantry is to move large numbers of men (often along a narrow course) quickly and unexpectedly. The ‘Little Drummer Boy’ had several tempos in his repertoire: the slow march (often reserved today for ceremonial occasions – but more normally a resting beat), normal time and double time for example. As hikers we can add a few more to this list: skipping and polka for example, which might look a bit silly with a column of troops in full accoutrements!

Here are just a few which come to mind. You might use the first letter of the last word to 'trigger' the memory of which song to sing next. The first one is particularly evocative: it was sung by our brave First AIF as they went into battle at Gallipoli, Fromelles & etc.

A Long Way to Tipperary,

Be Kind to Your Web Footed Friends

Clip Clop My little Horse

Down by the Riverside

Five Hundred Miles

Found a Peanut

Frere Jacques

Grand Old Duke of York

Hey Let's Go

Hi Ho It’s Off to Work We Go

I Want to Go Home

If I Had A Hammer

If You're Happy And You Know It

Irene Goodnight

John Browns Body

Kum Ba Yah

Loch Lomond

Mares Eat oats and Does Eat Oats

My Grandfather's Clock

Old Man River

Pack up your Troubles


The Ants Go Marching

The British Grenadiers,

The Happy Wanderer

There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor

When Johnny Comes marching Home Again

When the Saints Go Marching In

You are My Sunshine

See Also:

27/05/2017: Treaty: The so-called ‘Constituttional Convention’ (which no-one else could attend) meeting at Ayer’s Rock has decided on a Treaty, no doubt to be followed quickly by freehold title, compensation and compulsory repatriation of ‘non-aboriginals’. Such divisiveness must be overwhelmingly rejected. We are and must remain one people ‘under the Southern Cross’. That is all: ‘We should recognise that any constitutional recognition would be extremely bad in principle because it would create two classes of citizen… More than a decade of government-funded activism has now resulted in most of the officially recognised Aboriginal leadership wanting much bigger constitutional changes, ranging from a treaty between the Australian nation and the Aboriginal nation, through to compensation for dispossession and much more…This is all madness. The whole thrust of liberalism in the 20th century was to abolish all civic distinctions arising out of race, culture or inheritance. Your father may have been a beast, but you start with a clean slate. Your father may have been a prince, but you must establish your own character through your actions. Neither virtue nor vice, or any kind of civic distinction, goes to one citizen over another on the basis of race…If you are a Sri Lankan refugee who arrived in a boat and got your citizenship yesterday, you are just as good a citizen as me or as any other Australian...In principle and in practice, this is a recipe for conflict and disaster... Within this powerfully destructive paradigm there is an overwhelming incentive to create, celebrate and, above all, preserve grievance.... Because the grievance arises out of identity, it can never be adequately addressed. Conflict and complaint go forever…It is destructive, divisive and immensely dangerous for a multi-ethnic society such as Australia...Nobody is actually responsible for the misbehaviour of their own ancestors. Racial guilt, inherited guilt — these are ideas liberal political culture, when it was sane, had consigned to the dustbin of history.’ Greg Sheridan, The Australian. Many 'old Australians' (including most of those who also claim 'aboriginality') have ancestors who were evicted from their land as a result of the 'enclosure movement' of the C18-19th. Many arrived here penniless, as servants or in chains - and had perforce to make their way in this 'new world', as well as they could, as we all do. To imagine otherwise is a dangerous fantasy. We cannot and should not 'rewrite' history. The past contains many examples of 'injustice' No doubt the future will too. We can only hope to do something to prevent the latter. Nothing at all can or should be done about the former. - An interesting aside: recently I linked to Watkin Tench's 'history' of the first five years of Sydney town (4/3/2017: in which he recorded how the colonists took in the many many orphans caused by the small pox and measles epidemics amongst the aboriginal citizens he witnessed - and raised them as their own, no doubt also gifting them with their names. How few of us, I wonder have no 'aboriginal' ancestry as a result of like happenstance.


27/05/2017: This man, Norman Borlaug is responsible for saving the lives of over a billion people. If the climate becomes colder as was predicted in the 1970's (& some current predictions, see eg: ) we will need several of his kind to prevent catastrophe. Remember this, the Little Ice Age killed something like 1/3rd of Europe's population. Much more agricultural research is needed, particularly in the field of adaptation to a shortened growing season (and genetic engineering of plants to flourish in colder conditions):

26/05/2017: Happy Birthday Ultralight Hiker: My blog is two years old today. Many thanks to my daughter, Merrin for helping create and maintain it, and to my many readers and supporters for enjoying it. There are now 924 posts here, so plenty of things to enjoy! My post about canoeing the Seaforth River Fiordland is also two today, so I have moved it up the list so you could enjoy it again:

I also could not resist reposting two of my most popular photos, this wilderness river stag:

and this snap of us on Cox's Bight from our 2011 trans Tasmania hike:

26/05/2017: Dusky Track: Canoeing the Seaforth: Some folks are just downright suicidal, and sometimes I am one of them! In 2009 I had conceived a plan to be the first person (I think) to canoe the mighty remote Seaforth River in Fiordland NZ. I had a brand-new Alpacka ‘Fjord Explorer’ packraft ( courtesy of Kevin Rudd’s bushfire compensation scheme following the 2010 fires here which left us trapped at home for weeks with fires burning all around us.

That year I walked in from Lake Hauroko to Loch Marie (3 days) with my raft and gear in my trusty Gossamer gear G4 pack: On the fourth day I canoed across the lake, then walked down to just past the Bishop Burn and spent the rest of the day canoeing the Seaforth. I had carefully checked out the river from Google Earth which misses some big rapids -Trust Me! I had also walked around that lower section of the Seaforth quite a lot of times so I thought it was pretty safe. Well, I knew there were a couple of quite deadly rapids, but I was indecently confident I would hear them coming up and could safely portage them. (Every man has a plan which will not work!)

Most of the river is deep and wide and consists of pebble races or Grade 1-2 rapids at most. Unfortunately, there are 2-3 rapids which come up on you pretty quickly, which it would be death to attempt, and which are quite difficult to portage. The worst was in the general vicinity of the old Supper Cove Hut. Suddenly on a left-hand bend, there it was: with perpendicular river banks both sides, but no other option but to grasp a tree root on the right bank and hang on for dear life! I did manage to climb 5 metres up that vertical bank pulling myself up by the tree root, then haul up my pack and the raft (both of which I had tied to a line) after me. There was one other nasty rapid below this - which I had never seen even though I had walked that section near the mouth of the Henry Burn (Moose Creek) extensively.

Once I was in the flat water below I thought I was home safe. By then it was getting pretty cold and daylight was fading. I had realised that there were oodles of sharks in the Fiord but I thought to avoid them by paddling the shallows on the margins of Supper Cove. I had forgotten the 2-3 kilometres of tidal deep river above the Fiord, which teemed with them! They were mighty curious too, repeatedly cruising underneath the raft, gently lifting it as they rubbed underneath. It was a little unnerving!

Steve must not have been on their menu that day! I had this experience about twenty times before I made Supper Cove where you can be sure I hugged its margins like a drunken sailor! However, as you can see I made it – much to the astonishment of the (few) onlookers, including my daughter Irralee, who had been anxiously awaiting me there for three days! The Seaforth River is a beautiful and exhilarating trip. I somewhat regret I might not paddle it again though!

I have been back for other looks though, as recently as a month ago. See: & ff.

Thousands of beautiful tarns on the way across from Lake Roe - Seaforth in the background

Thousands of beautiful tarns on the way across from Lake Roe - Seaforth in the background

A very steep descent to Loch Marie

A very steep descent to Loch Marie

First view of the Seaforth coming across from Lake Roe

First view of the Seaforth coming across from Lake Roe

Putting in to cross Loch Marie

Putting in to cross Loch Marie

Some beautiful serene stretches of river along the way

Some beautiful serene stretches of river along the way

Some awesome views

Some awesome views

One of those vertical banks I had to climb

One of those vertical banks I had to climb

Quite a few log jams along the way

Quite a few log jams along the way

Some beautiful views along the river

Some beautiful views along the river

One of those 'killer' rapids i avoided

One of those 'killer' rapids i avoided

Sunset over Supper Cove Hut

Sunset over Supper Cove Hut

My daughter Irralee waiting for me on the Boat Shed beach at Supper Cove

My daughter Irralee waiting for me on the Boat Shed beach at Supper Cove

Supper Cove Hut loomed a welcome sight after such a river journey

Supper Cove Hut loomed a welcome sight after such a river journey

Packraft and Big Agnes mattress/floor inside Supper Cove Hut

Packraft and Big Agnes mattress/floor inside Supper Cove Hut

Great fishing for Blue Cod at Supper Cove

Great fishing for Blue Cod at Supper Cove

See also:

25/05/2017: How Long Till Sundown? Here is another neat trick. If you hold your hand out at arm's length, the width of your fingers approximates to 15 minutes. You can use this to judge how long it is till sundown (and remember you have approx half to  an hour of usable light after sundown). Using this you can judge whether you will likely make your destination, or whether you need to make camp sooner.

25/05/2017: I Love to Go A’Wandering: Hiking Songs: Songs to maintain your walking tempo, if your spirits begin to flag or when hiking with children.

Since time immemorial people have walked (and marched) to the accompaniment of songs, and oft with fife and drum, so I when I took my infant grandson for a walk around to the weir the other day ( and we needed to jolly him along a bit, we quickly ran through our rather short repertoire of readily remembered tunes.

When we got home I naturally thought I would try the internet for some more suggestions but Google drew (relatively) a blank on this one, no matter how I searched. Yet I am sure that when Alexander crossed the Hellespont or Caesar the Rubicon, or Napoleon marched on Marengo or Washington on Valley Forge (& etc) it seems vanishingly unlikely that the troops did not swing along with a rousing chorus on their lips – maybe their last words: ‘Once more into the valley of death…’ & so on.

The secret of (winning) infantry is to move large numbers of men (often along a narrow course) quickly and unexpectedly. The ‘Little Drummer Boy’ had several tempos in his repertoire: the slow march (often reserved today for ceremonial occasions – but more normally a resting beat), normal time and double time for example. As hikers we can add a few more to this list: skipping and polka for example, which might look a bit silly with a column of troops in full accoutrements!

Here are just a few which come to mind. You might use the first letter of the last word to 'trigger' the memory of which song to sing next. The first one is particularly evocative: it was sung by our brave First AIF as they went into battle at Gallipoli, Frommelles & etc.

A Long Way to Tipperary,

Be Kind to Your Web Footed Friends

Clip Clop My little Horse

Down by the Riverside

Five Hundred Miles

Found a Peanut

Frere Jacques

Grand Old Duke of York

Hey Let's Go

Hi Ho It’s Off to Work We Go

I Want to Go Home

If I Had A Hammer

If You're Happy And You Know It

Irene Goodnight

John Browns Body

Kum Ba Yah

Loch Lomond

Mares Eat oats and Does Eat Oats

My Grandfather's Clock

Old Man River

Pack up your Troubles


The Ants Go Marching

The British Grenadiers,

The Happy Wanderer

There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor

When Johnny Comes marching Home Again

When the Saints Go Marching In

You are My Sunshine

See Also:

25/05/2017: The Manchester Bomber’s Mosque where he plotted his evil. See anything wrong here?


25/05/2017: I agree. Long since time to shut the gate. If we need to become a police state to protect ourselves, then we let the wrong people live here:


25/05/2017: But not necessarily for the better:


24/05/2017: Man is the Measure of All Things (Protagoras) Some handy estimation tricks.

This astonishing Pre-Socratic was a brilliant mind. I guess everyone knows his 'Theorem" about right angle triangles. The saying above might not be quite so well known (or his enjoiner, 'Eschew beans'! I think I know why!), but we can use some of the proportions of the human body and the a property of an Isosceles Triangle (ie one with two equal sides) to do some pretty handy estimations.

You hold a stick at arm's length as shown in the drawing on the left so that the top of the branch exactly aligns with the top of the object whose height you want to measure. You can do one of two things: drop the stick over as in the drawing on the right, or pace the distance between you and the object. The height of the tree will be exactly the same as the distance from you to the object (Isosceles triangle, you see) Or the point on the ground where the stick on the right indicates.

You have formed a little isosceles triangle with your eye, your arm and the stick This triangle projects forward to the larger isosceles triangle formed by your feet, the distance to the base of the tree and the height of the tree itself, so the height of the tree is always exactly the distance from you to the tree..

Here is an interesting proportion. The distance between your eyes is almost exactly 1/9th of the length of your arm to the tip of your thumb (as shown below). By alternatively closing one eye and then the other, and estimating how far the object aimed at with your thumb 'jumps' sideways, then multiplying that estimated distance by 9 (it might be easier to multiply by ten which is close enough really) you can get a pretty good estimate of the distance to that remote object (ie it will be distant roughly ten times the distance your thumb jumps!) Neat eh?

This can be useful if you are taking a long shot (eg at a deer) with a rest, or eg if the object is your destination and you wish to know how far away it is, or if you need to cross a river and you want to know how wide it is so that you can judge how far upstream you need to start swimming or paddling (on your Thermarest Neoair mat) to safely get across. Always cross at the deepest, slowest straightest spot. You will already have measured the speed of the current by throwing s floating twig in and timing it.

If you dropped the stick to the side as in the right hand drawing in the first illustration, you can use the approximate number of tree lengths to estimate how far your thumb has jumped. If you assume that a similar tree near you which you measured by pacing is the same height as the one on the far bank, you will have a very clear idea of the distance to the remote object in tree lengths. From then on, it’s only a matter of simple multiplication.

The featured image is Da Vinci's famous 'Vitruvian Man' where Da Vinci sets out his ideas of the ideal human proportion:

24/05/2017: ‘Only on the ABC. The night before the Manchester massacre, Q&A panelists agreed Islamist terrorism was really no problem… Mona Chalabi: the chance of being killed by a foreign-born terrorist is one in 3.6 million… Lawrence Krauss: You’re more likely to be killed by a refrigerator, in the United States, falling on you.’ (Andrew Bolt) Remember 20 April 1968 when Enoch Powell warned of the ‘rivers of blood’ which would ensue from ‘indiscriminate immigration’. Cassandra was similarly hounded to her grave, the fate it seems of all who accurately portend the future.

24/05/2017: I am glad this solar scheme crashed as it would have killed lots of birds (like wind turbines) but I do regret the ‘lost’ $100 million which I would have preferred was in my bank account! Thanks again Jules:

23/05/2017: Epirbs are not Taxi Hailers: Lots of people are misusing these tiny devices. I guess because they are (relatively) cheap, but really if you want to spend time in the wilds, spend some money to get a decent communication system eg either a satellite messenger or a satellite phone – or both.

 So many people are pressing the panic button because they have a sniffle or ran out of Oreos occasioning hugely expensive search and rescue operations for them that eventually governments are going to have to charge everyone for the thoughtlessness of the few. Mostly people just want a specific thing eg a helicopter pick-up from a specific point (which will be an extra for a search and rescue operation) but which is relatively inexpensive (say $1-2,000) and ought to come out of your own pocket. Often such a pick-up is non-urgent as well.

 Val from Hauroko Tours related to me an example from a few years back. He had dropped a group off at the Hauroko Hut to begin the Dusky Track (See: Later the very same day they hit their Epirb. Within an hour of starting out on the Dusky, they found the Hauroko Burn flooded. In my opinion they could have proceeded, but in any case it would likely have gone down by the next day (and they had a lovely dry hut to stay in whilst waiting it out).

 Any walk on the Dusky is likely to encounter flooding/ waiting etc. Such is wilderness experience. Also, Val would have been back in three days, so they only had to wait. Clearly they had food for 8-10 days if walking the Dusky. Instead they hit the Epirb occasioning an urgent and expensive search which in my opinion they should have been charged for! Such ‘Crying Wolf’ behaviour is likely to cause the authorities to become less interested in launching into such wasteful exercises. The public purse is not infinite.

PS: Over reliance on electronic knick-knacks is problematic at best. before folks venture into the wild, they ought first have properly equipped themselves with a functioning set of the equipment they were born with: brain, eyes, ears, hand feet, back etc. The first of these needs some training. I will be posting some ideas about this soon, but in the meantime you might review this

23/05/2017: The ABC condemns an Imam who wants Islam reformed ( ; meanwhile in Manchester some unreformed ‘explosions’, possibly just a ‘party balloon’. Pity it killed 19 + people though… 

23/05/2017: Abbott and Newman are utterly right: under the current leadership the Liberal Party has completely lost its way. If this continues there is no hope for Australia:

23/05/2017: How tastes evolve. Interesting:  I doubt either hunting or meat eating will be gone soon though.


21/05/2017: Are Men with beards more desirable? A non-sequitur really. Of course we are:


21/05/2017: Astonishing Headlines: Colleges Are Putting Tampons In Men’s Bathrooms Because Men Can Have Vaginas Too! And it may actually be illegal for me to post this – ‘hate speech’ perhaps? Surely though, it is just quite mad:  &


21/05/2017: The big tax steal: income tax receipts are expected to rise from $179 billion currently to $230bn in 2020-21and company tax is forecast to rise from $68bn to $95bn in 2020-21; so $78 billion of tax increases per annum right there (leaving aside the disastrous bank tax and Medicare levy increase) yet still this Government cannot live within its means. Unfortunately much of the projected tax increases are cloud cuckoo land yet all of the spending increases are set in concrete – despite their representing scandalous waste and overspending. Australia is doomed under anything like this scenario!


20/05/2017: Ultralight Ultra-Sharp Knives: Ceramic knives are sharper than metal ones and their edge can last 10 times longer. They can also be lighter. I have been thinking that this ‘ceramic escape knife’ would fit well in an ultralight fishing kit such as this: This little guy weighs only 3 grams, has a blade 1.25” (3.175cm) and is 1.75” long  x .4” wide (4.445 cm x 1.016 cm) It may be illegal to import or sell this product in Australia. There is a metal version which weighs a colossal 8 grams:



Some options:

This guy has an enchanting range of ceramic knives:


20/05/2017: Sound advice for your kids: Just scroll down the ‘contents’ section and you will see this is the real McCoy:


20/05/2017: If you have an autistic kid, the government will mow your lawn. The NDIS is just a giant Ponzi scheme and rip-off and should be scrapped. The percentage of people who are ‘disabled’ is now nearly ten times the percentage it was at the end of WW2 when so many genuine cases existed as a result of the war. It is now 10% of the adult population (and growing) and fueled by a costly lifestyle which none of the recipients would even have been able to earn through their own efforts (supposing they would make them) even if they were ‘able’. No, of course there should be no increase in the Medicare levy. Half the nation’s ‘health’ care costs should likewise be scrapped. We should not be paying for self-inflicted ‘health’ costs. For example, if the problem can be fixed by sewing the person’s lips together or forcing them to walk 20 km a day, they should just be left to fend for themselves and cease bludging on the rest of us.  &


19/05/2017: She’s Buried Chest High:


19/05/2017: Antarctic Flights from $1199: Well $1999 if you want a better view, but really not bad for the visual feast of a lifetime. I know it’s a lot of money to spend for a 12 hour flight where you end up right back in Melbourne where you began, but ‘you can’t take it with you’, and it is unlikely you will be trudging across the icy wastes in pursuit of Scott and Amundsen. Della has already put her hand up for a flight when I find that tiny pot of gold I buried in the backyard some time – perhaps sooner:


19/05/2017: Tony Abbott says there is “no doubt the 2014 budget was the gold standard in terms of budget repair and economic reform”. Well, he is not quite right Arthur Fadden’s gazumped him utterly by doing it all in one year. Still and all, our country won’t wait another year before we begin to heal ourselves from the looming disaster of becoming another Greece!


19/05/2017: Glowing plants (eg to replace street lights). I think this is a really cool idea and would like some seeds. Della would definitely want the glowing rose, I’m sure. Of course there will be many leftist nutjobs who oppose all genetic modification (no doubt even if it saves their own life – well, duh!) who will be horrified at the idea, but ‘Go suck!’ guys:

18/05/2017: Wings and Water: My favourite airline operates out of Te Anau Fiordland, New Zealand I have flown in to or back from Supper Cove a number of times, so I have a collection of snaps which will maybe whet your appetite to the visual delights in store. It is almost impossible to take really good photos through a plane’s windows (as I’m sure you know), but these will give you some idea of the magnificence of Fiordland from the air. Some of the beautiful views I have experienced from their plane over the years:

Their pilot, Kylie ready to take you on the flight of your life at the lake’s edge, Te Anau.

Here is their plane at beautiful Supper Cove, Dusky Sound. The DOC hut is just a few steps up the path behind the plane.

And here it is taking off at Supper Cove

View of the Fiord

How steep the edges of the fiords are - notice all the fuschia regrowth (light green): this is a favourite moose food.

View of supper Cove Hut from the air.

Me at Supper Cove.

Leaving Supper Cove - view down the fiord.

A little further down the fiord.

Loch Marie - hut in centre.

Wet Jacket Arm.

Lake Manapouri.


Tarns in one of the passes probably Pillans.

Just look at this patch of fuschia regrowth - how many moose could such feed support? And how hard would it be to ever see one?


Probably Doubtful Sound.

These new slips will regrow with Fuschia. Moose can travel around these steep sides, but I doubt you or I can!

Look at this wonderful perched lake. So many beautiful secret spots in Fiordland where no man's foot has ever trod.

Fiord after fiord after fiord.

Those mountains are certainly steep.

Looking up the Seaforth River, Supper Cove.

Trampers Transport : Supper Cove - Dusky Track. Take the easy way to the Dusky Track at 9am daily. Fly from Te Anau to Supper Cove or return. They can also ferry stores to and from Supper Cove. Duration: 30 Minutes flight time approximately - $330.00 per person (2017).

They also do a range of wonderful ‘joy’ or scenic flights. There are numerous places they can take you into the Fiordland National Park. Fancy a bit of hunting or maybe you are joining a cruise somewhere in the fiords - let them take you there!

Here are just some of their destinations: Blanket Bay (Doubtful Sound), Bligh Sound, Breaksea Sound, Caswell Sound, Chalky Inlet, Charles Sound, Charles Sound – Helipad, Dagg Sound, Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound / Supper Cove, Dusky Sound / Cascade / Luncheon, Earshell Cove, George Sound, Glade House, Te Anau Downs to Glade House, Glasinoch River, Gorge Burn, Junction Burn Hut, Lake Alabaster, Lake Hakapoua, Lake Hankinson, Lake Hauroko, Lake McIvor, Lake McKerrow, Lake Manapouri, Lake Marchant, Lake Mavora, Lake Monowai, Lake Poteriteri, Lake Rakatu, Lake Wapiti, Lake Wilmot, Long Sound, Martins Bay, Milford Sound, Nancy Sound, Preservation Inlet, Stewart Island, Sutherland Sound,Te Anau Downs, West Arm, Wet Jacket Arm, Worsley Arm,,Queenstown.

18/05/2017: Worldwide, forests are booming – due to CO2 fertilisation. Up 25%+:


18/05/2017: Food for thought: ‘It's a fact that the earth, right now, is about as cold as it has ever been in the past half-billion years…the Eemian Interglacial… lasted around 15,000 years, beginning about 130,000 years ago…The Hippopotamus was distributed as far north as the rivers Rhine and Thames…Trees grew as far north as southern Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago instead of only as far north as Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec, and the prairie-forest boundary in the Great Plains of the United States lay further west — near Lubbock, Texas, instead of near Dallas, Texas, where the boundary now exists:,-with-the-Hippos-of-Britain.html

17/05/2017: Water from thin air: A New Dehumidifier: This device pulls water from dry air, powered only by the sun. It is still a long way off being available, but it may someday make long desert journeys much more possible:Imagine a future in which every home has an appliance that pulls all the water the household needs out of the air, even in dry or desert climates, using only the power of the sun...

The prototype, under conditions of 20-30 percent humidity, was able to pull 2.8 liters (3 quarts) of water from the air over a 12-hour period, using one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of MOF. Rooftop tests at MIT confirmed that the device works in real-world conditions.'

Read more at:

  Device pulls water from dry air, powered only by the sun


 - Dilbert by Scott Adams


17/05/2017: Your ABC: Is having a loving family an unfair advantage? How Left is this- and should we have to pay for it? Shades of Harrison Bergeron:

17/05/2017: Well said: ‘A balanced budget is not necessarily good. Most of the dreary comrade societies aimed at a balanced budget – ‘We take 100% of your income and spend it all’. There is only one tax on the people and that is government spending. The treasurer needs to slash that big tax. All else is flummery.’ Viv Forbes.

16/05/2017: Hiking Crayfish Bisque

First catch your crayfish...Once again here's a delicious soup to cook in the wild after you have been doing a spot of fishing. Naturally it uses only dried, concentrated and lightweight ingredients. I based it on a traditional bisque recipe we have eaten for years but with ultralight ingredients. My tastes run to peppery and my wife is a lover of tomato flavour, so at just these proportions the dish may be a little intense for you (or not enough), so you can play with the proportions a bit until you get it just right. I hope you enjoy it.

To 1 Litre of water add:

10 teaspoons of milk powder (add cold and stir in - it mixes better)

1 x 40 gram packet Continental French Onion Soup (NB low salt is good)

1-2 50 gram sachets of tomato puree (to taste)

1-2 small cubes or teaspoons of chicken stock

1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)

1 Teaspoon (to taste) of sweet paprika.

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Bring to the boil. Simmer 3-4 minutes Stir oiccasionally. Add:

200 gram can of shrimp (if you don't have a cray) A 100 gram can of tuna will do in a pinch!

1 x 85 gram packet of Magi 2 minute noodles well broken up (into 1 cm lengths)

Simmer a further 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.


For other hiking food ideas, try a search for 'food' in the search bar at the top right hand corner of the page.

See Also:

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16/05/2017: So, they just discovered 5 million square kilometers of extra forests no-one had noticed before: that’s more than half an Australia. Pretty hard to miss:

16/05/2017: Tim Blair is right. The Budget was all about Malcolm, and Malcolm (and it) must go! & I do think it has to be Abbott, otherwise the Liberals are finished. Morrison has tarnished his image fatally by his ‘association’ with Turnbull.

16/05/2017: How Lucky Can You Get: Gllard draws her own ticket in Mercedes Benz raffle:

15/05/2017: A Ball of String and a Feed of Cray: Once you have your feed of trout (See Below) you will have some heads, tails, fins etc left over. Now you have your cray bait for the next course! All you need to catch them is a bit of string. I have wound 50lb line on my ultralight hand line (because it was what I had lying around) – it would cast a lot further still with lighter line. Certainly though, a few 3-4 metre lengths of this is all you need to catch a feed of crays. You might need to mark the location of your lines with some tiny pieces of fluoro tape as this Dyneema line will be very hard to see.

If I am vehicle camping, as in the photo, I usually use a length of fluoro ‘builder’s line’ because it is hard to miss in the bush. When I am in the camper, I also have a small folding trout landing net with an extendable handle. It is very good for scooping them out. If you are lightweight hiking you will have to make use of a forked stick to pin them down, and maybe get your feet wet as well as you wade in to pick them up just behind the claws (as shown) – but the feed of crays will be worth it. NB: You cannot kiss a cray – definitely don’t try this at home! When there are lots of them on the move (they are easy to see particularly if you have polarising lenses) you can often just walk along the side of a shallow stream and just pin them down with a forked stick. I have sometime caught half a dozen in this way in a few minutes!

 They can grow to quite a size, as you can see! I am going to pretend my eyes are closed as I am dreaming of the Lobster Bisque in the next post, but I was just not ready for Della to take the snap, and in the next one, the cray was blurred from too much wriggling.

All you need to do is tie something smelly (like the fish heads) to one end of the line. I often use chicken necks because they are cheap and easy to tie on a line. Here and there along the bank in the vicinity of overhangs or upstream from logs, drop a bait into the water then tie the other end of the line to a branch. Don’t leave enough slack so the cray can pull the bait underneath his log as you may not be able to pull him out with it. Go have a cup of tea or something more refreshing, then come back in say half an hour. In most mountain rivers in Victoria there will be a cray on the end of the line, indicated by its having grown taut.

Very, very slowly without jerking pull the cray towards you until you can observe him. You need to be patient. He is greedy and doesn’t want to let go of his prize, but he will if you are foolish. You need to get him to where you can quietly scoop him from behind (or give him a little slack and he will back into your net). Or, if you only have a forked stick, you need to slowly move it from behind him until you can deftly pin him to the bottom just behind the claws. Then you can step into the river whilst holding him immobile and pick him up with the other hand.Watch those claws. They could almost sever a finger!

There are not so many about in the winter as they are less active. The old saw was that as soon as the wattle was on the water, they would be ready to bite. You can keep them in a bag in a cool place for hours, or tether them to a sapling with a length of string. I brought a bag back from deer hunting once (so they are about even in winter!) put them in the fridge in a supermarket bag for at least a week. When I remembered them, I was surprised they were all alive and ready to bite me!

There is a gender, size and number limit you must conform to if you don’t want to incur a penalty – and you want them to remain always abundant. If you have a billy large enough  to boil them in, that is the best solution. If you are car camping you will be able to first anaethesise them by adding some salt to the water (The reverse is true of sea crays – fresh water will knock them out). It is heartless to drop them straight into boiling water and is also likely to get you scalded as they will leap!

They only need a very few minutes to cook. Watch the colour. They do not go quite so red as sea crays. If you do not have large billy because you are hiking, you will need to kill them first eg by driving a knife (carefully) through their brain. Then you can just cook the bits with the meat. 1-200 grams of fresh cooked meat will be enough to make the accompanying bisque recipe if you are hiking. This will make them ‘go’ a lot further. There are few things quite so delicious as fresh caught crays, so enjoy!

PS: However, yabbies, their smaller cousins are just as delicious - but you will need more of them, a couple of dozen would be good. Most streams also contain 'ghost shrimp' which are smaller again but a few dozen still make a fine feed. They are very sweet. The method for catching yabbies is the same as for crays. Shrimp will come to all sorts of attractants (eg soap or crushed leaves) and will swarm all over a landing net laid on the stream bottom. Shrimp also make excellent bait for fish - so you can begin again!

See Also:

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14/05/2017: Say ‘Goodbye’ to Global Warming: Dr Fred Singer: ‘During the same decades, quite independently, there was a severe reduction in ‘superfluous’ (mostly) rural stations unless they were located at airports…the number of stations decreased drastically in the 1990’s but the number at airports declined less sharply, leading to a major rise in the fraction of reporting stations at airports…This led to a huge increase, from 35% to 80%, in the fraction of airport weather stations - producing a spurious temperature increase from all the construction of runways and buildings -hard to calculate in detail. About all we can claim is a general increase in air traffic, about 5% per year worldwide…We have however MSU data for the lower atmosphere over both ocean and land; they show little difference; so we can assume that both land data and ocean data contribute about equally to the fictitious surface trend reported for 1977 to 1997. The absence of such a warming trend removes all of IPCC’s evidence for AGW.’

14/05/2017: Quote of the day: Bertrand Russell: ‘The whole conception of a God is a conception derived from the ancient oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.’ ‘Why I Am Not a Christian’: &


13/05/2017: Vargo Titanium Pocket Cleats: Vargo has this lighter traction device for snow and ice slippery clay, etc:  They weigh 2.3 oz 66 grams nearly 1/3rd the weight of the competition so they might find a place in yoiur pack if you are going somewhere slippery. Cost is US$59.95

Ultralight Traction Device


‘Improve speed and traction on winter runs or ultralight hiking with the Vargo Titanium Pocket Cleats™.  The titanium alloy spikes claw into snow and ice yet weigh nearly a third the weight of the competition without reducing strength or durability.  When not in use the legs fold down and nest to easily fit into packs or pockets. Nylon carrying case included. 


Available in three sizes:


Small: Women’s 6.0 – 9

Medium: Women’s 9.5 – 12; Men’s 8.0 – 10.5

Large: Men’s 11 – 13


Note: Pocket Cleats™ will not fit or work well with shoes that have extra-thick soles ("Fat Shoes") or shoes with a non-hourglass shape sole.




Titanium alloy contstruction


Compact folding legs


Reliable Duraflex™ fastners


High strength nylon webbing


Convenient nylon carry case




Weight (medium)     Size Open            Size Closed


2.3 ounces each       5.9"L x 1.8"W       4.3"L x 1.8"W   


(66 grams)                (150 x 45 mm)     (110 x 45 mm)’


See Also:

13/05/2017: Sacked for supporting ‘cultural appropriation’. ‘In my opinion, anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities…I’d go so far as to say there should even be an award for doing so — the Appropriation Prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t even remotely like her or him.’ You know, just like John Steinbeck’s great novelette, ‘Tortilla Flat’ or Xavier Herbert’s ‘Poor Fellow My Country’ & etc. But the ‘thought police’ don’t agree, and are active everywhere. Facebook has also begun banning folks whose views it doesn’t like. The new censorship frankly terrifies me. It is a tyranny perhaps even worse than all the old tyrannies we had clearly identified and spent most of our lives fighting against. It’s power and reach and immediate effect is greater. There is also no sense of what can be done about it. There is no appeal. For example Facebook’s decision is anonymously taken, immediate, permanent, and there is no appeal: Incidentally, we watched Spencer Tracey in the 1942 film ‘Tortilla Flat’ last night. What a great actor he was! It is available from Pirate Bay. The ending (Hollywood!) is different from Steinbeck’s but still, a very satisfying film:

13/05/2017: Censorship has become so rife: I can remember wanting an end to censorship in Australia (this was back in the 60s) because I wanted to read such classics as ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ and ‘Tropic of Cancer’ which I illegally imported. We succeeded. Censorship today has become so nit-picky, it is unbelievable. Soon we will not be able to comment on a white woman wanting to self-identify as a black man for example, yet others can apparently with impunity advocate raping nine year old girls, and indeed do so: & I expect that soon I will not be able to say such things on Facebook (or perhaps anywhere) any more.


13/05/2017: Of course, if you think only Islam is/was extremist, try to remember the evil that was done in this man’s name (ie Jesus & with teachings like this): ‘He who is not with me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters…Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world nor in the world to come…Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell…The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth…Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire…If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched…If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple…Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life…Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division…For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it…’ & etc, ad nauseum. Charming fellow. and remember what his approach was to Gadarine swine and fig trees (not to mention money lenders!) this essay by Bertrand Russell (‘Why I Am Not a Christian’) ought almost to be compulsory reading. Anyway, give it a try: &

12/05/2017: East Tyers Walking Track: I spent six hours yesterday working on clearing some of this excellent track which had been long neglected and overgrown. Apparently there were six other people doing the same, though I never saw them, which indicates you can have a lovely solitary experience on the track. It connects O'Shea's Mill to Caringal Scout camp and thus comprises an interesting addition to the Upper Yarra Track Winter route - see:

I have (roughly) cleared the first third of it - starting from Caringal, but it is marked all the way now with tape, so it needs about two similar days' work to complete the job apparently expected to be done by Spring, but it is now walkable, so the more people walk it (with one of these: over the winter, the less work there will be to do.

I will now investigate re-opening the West Tyers walking track which has been similarly neglected and which links Caringal with Western Tyers/Morgans's Mill and the similar loop from Palmers to Growlers along the Western Tyers - both of which I have walked years ago. They are extraordinary beautiful sections which deserve to be open to everyone - not just the intrepid!

The track begins auspiciously. The track follows an old logging tramway linking bush mills (such as O'Sheas) to Collins siding where the railway ine to Melbourne was. NB: You can also walk along the tramway from Caringal to Collins siding.

There are some lovely stretches if river, somewhere to try this out:

Here's another.

And yet another.

There are some interesting bridges.

Some best avoided. You should never worry about getting your feet wet:

Some beautiful timber.

Mountain ash are magnificent - you can see why they were logging along here in the past.

An interesting geological formation.

It will be such a splendid track when the clearing is quite finished - and even better when it links both to Collins siding (Erica) and to Western Tyers (Morgans Mill) and beyond eg to Tanjil Bren and Newlands Rd so that a circuit of the Baw Baws can be had. Well, it already can. See below:

12/05/2017: Dude I want that: Dude I want that... Indeed! This is not strictly ‘ultralight’, but I just thought you might nonetheless like this amazing gift site -at least the 'outdoors' section. If you have perhaps become jaded by the pedestrian offerings of your local outdoors store, check out some of these amazing products:  Here’re ten of my favourites:

Banana Lounger

Onegee Bungee

Onak Foldable Canoe

Swim Fingers

Folding Survival Bow

Pocket Bellows:



Pocket Cleats:

Thermal Breaching Tool:

Gazebox retractable garage:

12/05/2017: The Delusion of Free Money: Who’s Invest in a Country Led by Bank Robbers? That’s the first problem. The second is the utterly bizarre belief that banks would not have to put up their fees to fund this – meaning that it is just another example of taxation by stealth, just like inflation and ‘bracket creep’ – which alone is delivering nearly $100 billion over the forward estimates! Do you still remember when Peter Costello used to actually balance the budget, Australia had no debt and the government could return people’s money to them via tax cuts? This is not a Liberal government. It is not even a sensible government. Turnbull must go!  &

12/05/2017: Couple Marry on Everest: `It is a really catchy headline and image isn’t it - and a great idea? A friend of mine noticed a wee bit of Photoshopping but s/he was being pedantic. I suppose the next ‘logical’ step is for folks to marry on the summit of Everest where they could quickly combine the two important ceremonies (ie marriage and funeral) into one –if there was any celebrant foolish enough to accompany them! See:

For info on how to do this in an ultralight manner see eg: 

12/05/2017: Touche: ‘I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not ‘greed’ to want to take somebody else’s money,’ Thomas Sowell.


12/05/2017: Has the Amount of Carbon Dioxide Changed Significantly Since the Beginning of the Twentieth Century? Giles Slocum Monthly Weather Review October 1955:

11/05/2017: The Ultralight Fisherman: Today is using a 1 oz (30 gram - including a selection of flies and leaders) hand line made from a 100 ml plastic 'spice'  bottle which easily and accurately casts 30 - 40 metres - as you can see! A pill bottle of roughly the same size  though slightly heavier, would work just as well. I tried an empty Nurofen bottle, for example. Another half an ounce or so would add a couple of lures, hooks, split shot, etc suitable for bait fishing as well. (This particular bottle is 14 gram 100 ml about 43mm wide and 80mm long and has the advantage you can see through it).

I must stock the repaired farm dam with trout! It already has eels.

Amid the windfall quinces in the garden.

The scales do not lie.

The pink 1 mm Dyneema string is a wrist strap in case you drop your hand line. A dab of silicon around the hole I had to drill to thread it would make it completely waterproof as well. Everything you need fits right in the bottle, in a few mini snap lock bags. You could even take some artificial bait with you.

I went for a walk around to 'The Weir' ( again this afternoon - no fish trying to climb it, alas. It is a very small log-choked stream for fly fishing, but in 2-3 casts I did have a small trout following my fly - unfortunately the stream was too small, so he saw me and headed South. I will be going up the bush sambar deer hunting soon where there are much bigger streams and bigger trout. I will be eating some!

See Also:

Soon to come: 'The Ultralight Deer Hunter'.

11/05/2017:  ‘Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts,’ Richard Feynman


11/05/2017: Some folks are touting this Macron win. As if Marine getting 40% of the vote was meaningless. Meanwhile neither the Republicans nor the Socialists, France’s two ‘Main’ parties got a single vote – in other words 100% of French people voted for someone else. What if that should happen in Australia? Would the ABC just headline that Pauline failed to become PM? The times they are a’changing! It will be interesting to see what happens in the French Parliamentary elections in a couple of months’ time – and how it plays out after that.


10/05/2017: ‘Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.’ Susan Ertz.

10/05/2017: Ultralight Coconut Fish Curry: We found this soup to be just about the most delicious we have ever eaten at home - and we eat a lot of soup, so just imagine how delicious it will be on the trail. Again it uses Continental French Onion Soup as a base and makes use only of dehydrated ingredients (or ingredients which will not leak, or which can be 'caught' on the trail).

1 Litre water

25 grams of Coconut Milk Powder (comes in 50 gram aluminium sachets. You could use the whole sachet)

50 gram sachet Tomato Paste.

40 gram packet of Continental French Onion Soup

2  Teaspoons (Clive Of India) curry powder

1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper

Bring to the boil


100 gram sachet Safcol Yellowfin Tuna

16 teaspoons Surprise Peas

Simmer 5 minutes

Add (slowly, stirring as you go) approx 12 Teaspoons Continental Deb Mashed Potato.

Serve and eat. Try this at home. You will be delighted.

PS: My daughter, who is more a coconut than a curry person says, 'Halve the curry and double the coconut'. You might try that if you think your tastes are more that way. If you don't like fish (what?) you might also try the recipe with a can of this: The cans would also be perfect for making a 'Supercat Stove':

See Also:

10/05/2017: The Budget: Debt up (now $600 billion), taxes up, spending up. No clear plan. Surplus to remain four years in the future (so 15 years since the last one). This is a Labor Budget. Fadden turned around a similar disastrous financial situation for Australia back when I was born in one year! &


10/05/2017: We have Malcolm. Meanwhile, Theresa may shows Australian Conservatives the way forward. She has a 22 point lead over Labour! Bring back Tony Abbott:


10/05/2017: Hazelwood Aftermath: This is happening because we have entered a new era of energy madness, shortfall  and rationing. Mark my words, there is worse to come: &

09/05/2017: Invisible Worlds: The Weir: Just around the corner (about 2 km) from our house lies the Billy's Creek, the Morwell National Park, (the start of) a lovely walk (the Grand Stzelecki Track) and just a kilometre up the track and stream this lovely old weir (built in 1913) set amongst majestic blue gums in a lush narrow, steep valley. The weir used to be part of the Morwell Water Supply.

You can see it has a hole in it about 200mm/8" in diameter through which much of the stream flows. The hole has an enchanting history. It was created as an act of anarchy by local farmers who were incensed at how much of their own water supply had been stolen by the Government. A pity moe of us weren't as galvanised by government theft.

The hole is 2.1 metres/7'  above the pool at the bottom which is only 35mm/14" deep. On pretty much just one day of the year, trout try to swim up the outflow of that pipe, tunnel through that hole and so emerge in the stream above the weir to lay their eggs. Unbelievably some make it. We observed (and filmed) this on Mothers day 2006, May 14. Sometime in the next week, if you visit this weir every day you too will witness this natural miracle.

Below the picture I have attached a very poor quality video of the event, but you can still make out what the trout are doing. Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in the national park (which would not worry me) but there are some very busybodying locals (alas!) who will make a fuss if I take the dogs for a walk there every day, so I may not manage a better piece of film due to other work commitments - but you may!

It is a beautiful walk up amid the blue gums:

There are fine bridges to play on:

Milo spots a trout:

There is a lovely picnic spot at the weir with a sign implying no tents under this tree - but nothing about hammocks!

Milo is learning to be an ultralight hiker. He can really use that Gossamer gear pole.

It is quite hard work though and needs lots of concentration.

09/05/2017: Hunter, angler, gardener, cook. Interesting website. Some great recipes:


09/05/2017: The White Man’s Burden: No doubt everyone else in Australia has been astonished by this absurd piece of political correctness gone mad Bill Shorten has been castigated over. Personally I give Bill enormous credit that he failed to notice that the ad contained ‘insufficient racial diversity’, meaning of course that he failed to notice any racial differences in the folks in the photograph – which is just what would happen if someone was not a racist at all actually, isn’t it? Surely it is the racists (ie those who advocate for ‘diversity’ who notice (and think it is important) what ‘race’ we belong to. The Human Race, stupid! I still like Kipling’s version best: I particularly like the lines:

‘Watch Sloth and heathen Folly

Bring all your hopes to nought.’ (That’s surely been happening a lot all over.)

The White Man's Burden

TAKE up the White Man's burden -

Send forth the best ye breed -

Go bind your sons to exile

To serve your captives' need;

To wait in heavy harness

On fluttered folk and wild -

Your new-caught sullen peoples,

Half devil and half child.

Take up the White Man's burden -

In patience to abide

To veil the threat of terror

And check the show of pride;

By open speech and simple,

An hundred times made plain,

To seek another's profit,

And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden -

The savage wars of peace -

Fill full the mouth of famine

And bid the sickness cease;

And when your goal is nearest

The end for others sought,

Watch Sloth and heathen Folly

Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden -

No tawdry rule of kings,

But toil of serf and sweeper -

The tale of common things.

The ports ye shall not enter,

The roads ye shall not tread,

Go make them with your living,

And mark them with your dead !

Take up the White Man's burden -

And reap his old reward,

The blame of those ye better,

The hate of those ye guard -

The cry of hosts ye humour

(Ah slowly !) towards the light:-

"Why brought ye us from bondage,

"Our loved Egyptian night ?"

Take up the White Man's burden -

Ye dare not stoop to less -

Nor call too loud on Freedom

To cloak your weariness;

By all ye cry or whisper,

By all ye leave or do,

The silent sullen peoples

Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden -

Have done with childish days -

The lightly proffered laurel,

The easy, ungrudged praise.

Comes now, to search your manhood

Through all the thankless years,

Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,

The judgement of your peers.


09/05/2017: More ‘White man’s Burden’ – nearly a million of them: ‘About 870,000 non-citizens, mostly from Britain, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East, are claiming $15 billion a year in welfare benefits, according to new analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office.’ (Herald Sun) Why is this so? Why this absurd generosity? Why are they here unless it is to be parasites on the body politic?

08/05/2017: Steve's Ultralight Fish Chowder: Following my post about hand Line Fly Fishing I have had several requests for the Hiking Fish Chowder recipe so that I had to make it for lunch, and it was excellent. I doubt you have had a better hiking meal. Try it at home, then make sure you take the ingredients when you next head out to the hills (and streams) with your handy new hand line!


1 packet Continental French Onion Soup 460 kJ 112 calories 40 grams

1 Litre Water

4 (heaped) Teaspoons of milk powder -approx 350 kJ 80 calories 17 grams

16 Teaspoons Surprise Peas (4 Teaspoons per 250 ml) - 300 kJ 72 calories 80 grams

100 gram Sachet Safcol Yellowfin Tuna (or equivalent filleted fresh brook trout) - 616  kJ 150 calories

12 Teaspoons (Approx) Continental deb Mashed Potato - 150 kJ 35 calories 40 grams

Pepper or curry powder to taste (unnecessary)

Bring to the boil and simmer 5 minutes

Delicious! Total 1876 kJ 460 calories. 177 grams - not including the fish!

PS: The French Onion Soup makes a great base for many meals. I will be adding more! You can just make one cup of nit up on the trail and save the rest for later. Adding some peas makes for an interesting taste and makes it go a little further. The dehydrated mash thickening also makes it feel like you are eating more (and you are). (Weight and calories are approximate)

08/05/2017: Hand Line Fly Fishing: Fishing with a bubble or float is an old technique. I’m sure most of us have used this method with live baits to catch a variety of fish. It also works well with flies and other floating lures to catch trout.

My handline of choice is Streamlines Tideland which weighs 2.4 oz. I cut the rubber handle off mine (saving an ounce). It now weighs 1.5 oz (43 grams). You can easily cast over 20 metres accurately. It is as good as most spinning rods, better where there are overhanging branches, as you can cast underarm. It is ideal for getting a trout dinner out of small wooded alpine streams. I could trim its weight some more by cutting off the corner with the angle grinder and smoothing the finish. I might get it down to a functional 1 oz (or 30 grams), yet still have a superlative casting hand line.

Below are typical rigs taken from Martin Joergensen’s and Will Rietveld's articles below.

The technique is simplicity itself. Cast and slowly retrieve. The splash of the bubble hitting the water attracts the fish’s attention which is then directed at the fly tied to the invisible line. When it strikes you need only set the hook, reel it in, prepare it and eat it. More detailed tips in the articles below.

‘The Streamlines handline has landed trout in the Sierra Nevada mountains, bass in low land lakes, and up to six pound snook in Costa Rica. The Tidelands model is an inexpensive lifetime tool, ideal for backpackers, kayakers, or as a part of any complete survival kit. Casting handline has been used for decades in Costa Rica as the primary tool of ocean shore-line fishermen who must live on what they catch. Streamlines has evolved this tool, combining improved design with modern materials. It casts far and accurately, limited only by the skill of the fisherman. This go anywhere, fish anytime tool is patented and molded of plastic strengthened with 40% fiberglass reinforcing. It is overmolded with a rubber Santoprene handle.’ US$ 17.90

You could even do it with my 4 gram fishing hand lines below:

2015-09-23 13.43.23 comp

Some great articles on the technique (and related matters):

 Fishing a bubble: Martin Joergensen:

 Spin Fishing Using The Fly And Bubble Method: Mike:

 A Simple, Minimalist, and Ultralight Approach to Catching, Cleaning, and Cooking a Backcountry Fish Dinner By Will Rietveld:

 Ultralight Tic Tac Fishing Kit: Rik Christensen


 For an ultralight hiker/fisherman I think Will Rietveld’s method of cooking trout takes some beating (particularly if you were using twigs in the Caldera Cone). However, I have also been experimenting with various dry ingredients to make up a tasty fish chowder. Continental French Onion Soup is probably already a standby with you (though it takes a five minute simmer). A packet contains about 8 teaspoons full which makes four cups, so you can make them individually. Added to the (filleted) fish, it makes a tasty broth. You can thicken it (as I have mentioned before) with some Continental Deb mashed potato. A little milk powder will add to the chowdery effect. I know you don’t have to add pepper or curry powder to everything (so my wife, Della says) but these can add some zest to the overall effect. Enjoy.

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 Other Posts:

08/05/2017: Libertarianism: ‘The central tenet of Libertarianism is freedom. It is the right to choose. Not just choose 'stuff' while shopping, but everything. Where to live, who you associate with, who you do business with, who you work for or who works for you, and what you want to do with your life. While it is often contrasted with Socialism and Communism, this commentator points out there is a third thread which is often overlooked, but cuts across the philosophical spectrum - bureaucratic centralism. It's my belief that Conservatives are essentially libertarians (small "l") who like having, or believing in, the direction that centralized government can provide. Which is why Libertarians, more often than not, are lumped in with Republicans. In my recent past, I've learned to distrust and, whenever possible, avoid anything government claims to provide, or that people believe it should provide. If I could avoid, or it was practical to avoid, all things the government provides, I would. Unfortunately I don't have that freedom, since it's been taken either by vote or by bureaucratic diktat.’ (Bulldog) See also:  &


08/05/2017: ‘If you were a visitor from a distant solar system come to our nation or even a time traveler from our own nineteenth century, I submit you would be perplexed. This Trump person (being?) doesn't seem to be all that different from many leaders who have come before him. I mean, what has he done exactly? Enforced some immigration laws that were enacted by the Congress over several administrations? Tried to fix a mediocre healthcare plan with another plan that may or may not be as mediocre? Called for a tax reduction similar to those enacted by previous Republican and Democratic administrations? Cut back on some regulations that became overly burdensome? Called for a temporary halt to immigration from a half-dozen countries his predecessor had already cited as dangerous hotbeds of terrorism? Shot off a few dozen cruise missiles at the airfield of a dictator who was gassing his own people, but didn't harm a single person in the process? I could go on, but you get the point.’ Roger Simon.


07/05/2017: Exercise in a Pill: This is for me:


07/05/2017: Thanks Capitalism: How about the 78% percent reduction in extreme world poverty from 1981 to 2015:



07/05/2017: Affordable Housing is a Supply Problem: If I were a Government seriously interested in reducing the cost of housing, I would bulldoze some of the nearby ‘national parks’, buy a giant 3D printer and ‘print’ concrete houses en masse for pennies and dump them on the market:

07/05/2017: From Dawn to Dusky # 8: Upper Spey to West Arm is somewhere between 4 and 6 hours, nearer six for me these days. There have been a number of contradictory signs over the years. As the last hour or so is on a hard gravel road, and much of the walk is along flattish river banks and this is your last day,  there is a temptation to hurry. Most likely all this will achieve will be to finally tear your feet to pieces (especially your toenails) and you will miss or have to wait for the bus/boat anyway, so chill out and enjoy the scenery along the beautiful Spey River valley.

The mountain which hangs over Upper Spey resembles one of the Easter island heads.

Upper Spey sunset.

The colours are beautiful.

Leaving Upper Spey in a dewy dawn. The orb spiders have been hard at work on the coprosma.

Detail of the orbs and fruit.

Lots of duckboards at the beginning. This used to be quite swampy patch in years past.

All day is just a gentle incline following the Spey River valley downhill.

With some hobbity bits.

The Spey is a pretty little river. You can walk along in it for kilometres instead of on the track when the level is low. Good trout fishing too!

Bryn just could not resist the temptation to revel in some Fiordland mud one last time!

Eventually I tire of walkwires. There are three this day. The very last one over the Dashwood Stream I chose to wade.

But as I have said before, Bryn just loves them! That stream is really steaming...

A light in the forest.

Still a few muddy patches.

Spey river scene.

Lunch by the Spey River.

Easy fishing.

The very last walkwire over the Dashwood Stream.

One last glimpse of the Spey River

And we are out on the Wilmot Pass Rd - the end of the Dusky Track! We have made it!

Wilmot Passs Rd at the end of the track - with Steve Hutcheson 2012.

Bryn 2008.

An enigmatic Kiwi sign on the Wilmot Pass Rd echoes our feeling exactly!

Just in time to catch the Doubtful Sound bus - you wish!


Wilmot Pass - just a couple of kilometres off-route towards Doubtful Sound. When they were constructing this road in the 1970s a bulldozer driver saw  a live moose cross right here.

View of Doubtful Sound from Wilmot Pass, not such a clear day, unfortunately.

The Mica Burn.



Here we are at West Arm. Methinks they have cold beer on that 'real journeys' boat.

Inside the Manapouri Power Station hundreds of metres underground at West Arm. Unfortunately you can no longer see this.


I was right: A well-earned beer on the boat across Lake Manapouri.

Heading back to 'civilisation'.

It is a beautiful lake.

Hitching back to Te Anau from Manapouri 2012.

Fiordland Birds: An Aside: If you thought it was quiet (and peaceful) walking the Dusky track and that you don not see anything but a handful of birds as you traversed it, that's because New Zealand has lost 99% of 99% of its birds. Most were eaten by stoats or possums. This is a stoat trap along the Spey River intended to catch some of these pests. in places where there are lots of such traps and they are regularly checked (such as the South Coast Track) the birds are very slowly making a comeback - but it will be touch and go. Do not interfere with a stoat trap as someone has done here.

You are lucky to get snaps of more than a handful of birds, such as these:


It is such an awful change from what I am used to in the Gippsland bush, Victoria where you are likely to see up to 500 bird species, and at any time walking =in the bush there are probably fifty birds visible and audible of probably upwards of a dozen species - almost more than you are likely to see in a lifetime in Fiordland. They have a plan t recover their bird life. I hope they succeed with it.

06/05/2017: Think Poor, Be Rich: There are lots of folks like this. A friend of mine who endlessly espouses handfuls of commie gobbledygook has just inherited $3 million, but I misdoubt it will change his/her ideology one iota. How many such folk in our capital cities live in ‘millionaire’s mansions’? Whilst here at Jeeralang Junction we eke out a living in much more modest accommodation they would demean though we built it ourselves, every brick and stick – but I would not swap it for half a dozen of their urban prisons, no matter that ‘they sing in their chains like the sea’ (‘Fern Hill’). Seeming is the new doing:



06/05/2017: A very fine speech on Australian values, and the way forward: An example‘Australians have every justification for pride…and we should equally be proud of the broader Western civilisation of which we are part.Australia is the world’s 12th largest economy. We’re close to being the world’s largest exporter of coal, iron ore and gas; and the third largest exporter of education. We’re one of the world’s top re-settlers of refugees…We enjoy a combination of freedom, fairness and prosperity that rightly makes us the envy of the earth.We are part of a civilisation which has exported scientific learning, material prosperity, and concepts of democracy, justice and freedom to the entire world. We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, creed or gender. We do our best to judge people by the content of their character…we are convinced that every human being has…equal rights and responsibilities; and our basic rule of conduct is to treat others as we would have them treat us.The modern world is unimaginable without this legacy of Western civilisation.’


06/05/2017: Where’s the Plan? The worst thing about Turnbull’s Gonski 2.1 squandering $18 billion on ‘education’ (whilst making students pay more), is that there is no focus on how this will turn around the decline in Australia’s measured educational standards. If even Kazakhstan is beating us in these results with a fraction of the spend, it is long past time to think on quality not quantity. The domination of ‘educational’ institutions by Leftists (and low staff:student ratios) has led to this decline. Well past time to sack half of them, pass (some of) the money on to those doing a good job, increase class sizes, and bring back a big stick for those who will not knuckle down and learn! Pickering’s observation that you can’t land an aircraft at Badgery’s Creek for weeks at a time is just the icing on the cake for Turnbull’s economic tomfoolery!


05/05/2017: Jelly, The Smallest 4G Smartphone. This is a neat little phone – fits in your fob pocket, but has all the functionality of your regular smart phone. Only 60 grams, less than $100. It would be excellent for ultralight hiking. You might also consider it as a spare phone – if only you could have duplicate sim cards. Well, you can illegally, actually. Try Google. Personally, I am tired of phones being too big, and getting lost, broken or in the way. This is the solution:


Super portable


05/05/2017: Wonderful: ‘My struggle is real, and my male-identifying genitalia will no longer be silent! As a person of absolutely no color who embodies an intersectional reality that includes my utter lack of genderfluidity and my unemployment-questioning, differently-veteraned, and non-pagan experiences, I am totally oppressed by progressivism’s hegemonic power structure. I am also the victim of a systemic system of hostile paradigms that denies my truth regarding my phallo-possessory identity.’ Kurt Schlichter:

05/05/2017: Under Howard the Australian Government got by with about 17 cents out of your every dollar. That amount is closer to 26 cents now after Rudd, Gillard and Turnbull (Abbott was reducing it). Any more than a tithe I hold to be onerous taxation and public waste. It is not their money. It is ours. Give it back and stop wasting it. You and I can name a hundred things the Government can stop funding or reduce spending on – why can’t they?


05/05/2017: Richard Lindzen, one of the world's most famous climate scientists: ‘Although I have presented evidence as to why the issue is not a catastrophe and may likely be beneficial, the response [from most audiences] is puzzlement. I am typically asked how this is possible. After all, 97% of scientists agree, several of the hottest years on record have occurred during the past 18 years, all sorts of extremes have become more common, polar bears are disappearing, as is arctic ice, etc. In brief, there is overwhelming evidence of warming, etc. I tended to be surprised that anyone could get away with such sophistry or even downright dishonesty, but it is, unfortunately, the case that this was not evident to many of my listeners...


The accumulation of false and/or misleading claims is often referred to as the ‘overwhelming evidence’ for forthcoming catastrophe. Without these claims, one might legitimately ask whether there is any evidence at all.


Despite this, climate change has been the alleged motivation for numerous policies, which, for the most part, seem to have done more harm than the purported climate change, and have the obvious capacity to do much more. Perhaps the best that can be said for these efforts is that they are acknowledged to have little impact on either CO2 levels or temperatures despite their immense cost. This is relatively good news since there is ample evidence that both changes are likely to be beneficial although the immense waste of money is not.


04/05/2017: Malcolm despises the Catholic vote and decreases spending on the education of their students with his ‘new Gonski 2.1’ both directly by reducing the per capita spend on schools and indirectly by increasing their children’s university fees. No doubt the per capita spend on Islamic school students has increased. As I have seen no news about this conundrum I am almost certain of it. He would have done much better at the polls to have completely cut out the latter (which just increases the risk to Australia’s nationality and security) and increased the former. Catholic voters are predominantly upper working class to middle class. In either case they are universally aspirational voters who can see the value in scrimping to provide their children with a better education than the leftist pap doled out nowadays by our state schools. These folk are quintessentially liberal/conservative voters. To so anger them as these actions will do will alienate them completely and makes his party completely unelectable. Coupled with a promise to splash vast amounts of money on a new airport for Sydney (leaving aside the fact that surely it was Victorians alone who aid for the construction of Tullamarine) when Hong Kong airport for example carries several times as much traffic as the much more convenient old site (& on a smaller site) is political suicide! They will have to close the old site to force anyone to use the new one, but if they do so, traffic to Sydney will collapse. Who would want a 1/1/2 hour each way trip to the CBD when in Melbourne you can be downtown in ten minutes?

04/05/2017: 900th Post: Another milestone today: my 900th post here at the Ultralight Hiker. I am just back from walking the Dusky Track in Fiordland as my recent posts no doubt inform you. It is getting harder and longer as I age, but I am just glad to be able to be there and other wonderful places, and doing it. Plenty of time for the easier walks later on, I hope!

In my Hummingbird Hammock, ( Supper Cove, Fiordland New Zealand 2017.

It's been a busy 5ive and one half months! What are some of the highlights of the last one hundred posts?

Well...Trekking in Nepal: